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Summary

Accumulation of basophils in inflammatory sites is an important aspect of the late-phase allergic reaction involving skin and upper and lower airways, suggesting the existence of mechanisms for basophil migration. Because haemopoietic growth factors have been shown to stimulate various functions of human basophils, we tested the ability of haemopoietic growth factors to migrate basophils in vitro. Both IL-3 and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) induced migration of purified normal basophils (purity c. 80%) in a dose-dependent fashion at picomolar concentrations, while granulocyte (G)-CSF, macrophage (M)-CSF, and IL-4 had no effect at all. Chequerboard analyses indicate that migratory activity of both factors are chemokinetic. These results suggest that local production of both factors during allergic reactions might potentially play an initial role in the recruitment of basophils from the circulation to sites of inflammatory reactions.