Role of the eosinophil in allergic reactions

Eur Respir J Suppl. 1996 Aug;22:109s-115s.


The eosinophil may have several functions in health and in the pathogenesis of allergic and other diseases. Some roles of the eosinophil are based on the acute, effector responses of this cell, its capacity to generate biologically active lipid mediators and release its granule contents, including its distinctive cationic proteins. Whilst the effector responses of eosinophils are important for their contribution to the acute pathogenesis of allergic diseases, a fuller understanding of the eosinophil requires evaluation of the role this cell may play at tissue sites, especially submucosal sites, where the cell is normally localized in the absence of disease. Moreover, for the long-lived, tissue-resident eosinophil, definition of the interactions that occur between the eosinophil and other immune cells is germane to understanding the functions of eosinophils both in acute and chronic diseases. Many allergic diseases are characterized by heightened accumulation of eosinophils and are chronic ongoing diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation
  • CD4 Antigens / biosynthesis
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Cell Communication
  • Cell Degranulation
  • Cell Movement
  • Eicosanoids / metabolism
  • Eosinophils / metabolism*
  • Eosinophils / physiology*
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Immunoglobulins / biosynthesis
  • Integrin alpha4beta1
  • Integrins / biosynthesis
  • Leukotrienes / metabolism
  • Mucoproteins / biosynthesis
  • Platelet Activating Factor / metabolism
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Lymphocyte Homing / biosynthesis
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Tissue Distribution / immunology
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / biosynthesis


  • CD4 Antigens
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Eicosanoids
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Integrin alpha4beta1
  • Integrins
  • Leukotrienes
  • MADCAM1 protein, human
  • Mucoproteins
  • Platelet Activating Factor
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • Receptors, Lymphocyte Homing
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1