RANTES and related chemokines activate human basophil granulocytes through different G protein-coupled receptors

Eur J Immunol. 1993 Mar;23(3):761-7. doi: 10.1002/eji.1830230329.


Chemotactic cytokines related to interleukin-8 (IL-8; CXC-chemokines) or monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1; CC-chemokines) have been shown to stimulate human basophils, and are considered important tissue-derived mediators of inflammation. We have studied the effects of four CC-chemokines and show that MCP-1, RANTES (regulated on activation, normal T expressed and secreted) and macrophage inflammatory protein-1 alpha (MIP-1 alpha) are potent basophil agonists inducing a rapid change of cytosolic free calcium ([Ca2+]i), the release of histamine and sulfido-leukotrienes, and chemotaxis. MCP-1 was the most potent stimulus of release, and the only chemokine that induced marked exocytosis in basophils without pretreatment with interleukin-3. RANTES was the strongest stimulus of chemotaxis, but only a moderate stimulus of release. MIP-1 alpha elicited relatively weak chemotaxis and release responses, but was effective at considerably lower concentrations than MCP-1 and RANTES. MIP-1 beta, by contrast, despite its high homology to MIP-1 alpha, was totally inactive. Normodense human eosinophils, tested for comparison, responded in a similar fashion to RANTES and MIP-1 alpha, but were unresponsive to MCP-1 and MIP-1 beta. All CC-chemokines except MIP-1 beta induced a similar rapid and transient rise of [Ca2+]i that was sensitive to pertussis toxin, indicating that they activate basophils via G-protein-coupled receptors. Cross-desensensitization experiments indicate that basophils bear different CC-chemokine receptors. Some interact selectively with MCP-1 or RANTES, while others are shared by RANTES and MIP-1 alpha.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Basophils / physiology*
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cell Degranulation
  • Chemokine CCL2
  • Chemokine CCL4
  • Chemokine CCL5
  • Chemotactic Factors / physiology
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte*
  • Cytokines / physiology
  • Eosinophils / physiology
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Histamine Release
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Interleukin-8 / physiology
  • Leukotrienes / biosynthesis
  • Lymphokines / physiology*
  • Macrophage Inflammatory Proteins
  • Monocytes / physiology
  • Monokines / physiology
  • Pertussis Toxin
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / physiology*
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Signal Transduction
  • Virulence Factors, Bordetella / pharmacology


  • Chemokine CCL2
  • Chemokine CCL4
  • Chemokine CCL5
  • Chemotactic Factors
  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-8
  • Leukotrienes
  • Lymphokines
  • Macrophage Inflammatory Proteins
  • Monokines
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Virulence Factors, Bordetella
  • Pertussis Toxin
  • GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Calcium