Eosinophil major basic protein induces degranulation and IL-8 production by human eosinophils

Hirohito Kita, Randa I. Abu-Ghazaleh, Sanjiv Sur, Gerald J. Gleich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Eosinophil granule proteins, such as major basic protein (MBP), eosinophil peroxidase (EPO), and eosinophil cationic protein (ECP), possess a wide range of biologic activities including the ability to activate other cells, such as basophils, neutrophils, and platelets. Here we have analyzed the effects of these proteins on eosinophils themselves. MBP and EPO, at concentrations as low as 0.1 μg/ml, induced eosinophil degranulation as measured by release of eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN); in contrast, ECP, at 1 μg/ml, was inactive. MBP (10 μg/ml) and EPO (0.1 μg/ml) induced EDN release comparable with one of the strongest agonists for eosinophils, secretory IgA. Pretreatment of cells with dibutyryl cAMP or cytochalasin B completely abolished the EDN release induced by MBP and EPO, suggesting that the effects of MBP and EPO are not due to cytotoxic lysis of the cells. Degranulation induced by MBP was only partially dependent on calcium, and no elevation of intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+](i)) was observed in eosinophils stimulated with MBP. MBP stimulated the production, up to eightfold, of IL-8 by eosinophils in a dose-dependent manner. The MBP-stimulated expression of IL-8 mRNA by eosinophils was confirmed by reverse transcription-PCR. The MBP- stimulated production of IL-8 was inhibited by actinomycin D, but not by cyclosporin A. Furthermore, MBP and calcium ionophore ionomycin synergistically induced production of leukotriene C4 from eosinophils. Thus, MBP and EPO may act as autocrine mediators in the pathogenesis of eosinophil- associated diseases, such as bronchial asthma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4749-4758
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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