Backgrottnd Basophils arc circulaling, secretory grunulocytes that are generally considered to be end-stage cells. In one species of guinea-pigs, basophilic leucocytes have been shown to recover from stimulated secretion in short-term cultures. Similar studies have not been done using human basophils.
Objective The purpose of this study was to examine human hasophils in short-term recovery intervals following stimulation of secretion to determine whether visual evidence of recovery occurred.
Methods We examined the ultrastrucural morphology of early recovery (l0 min-6h) of human basophils following secretion stimulated by formyl-mcthionyl-lcucyl-phenyl-alanine (FMLP). A combined technique for electron microscopy consisted of postfixation exposure to cationizcd ferritin and reduced osmium, providing maximum quality images and allowing identification of intracellular spaces/organelles that opened to the cell surface, often out of the plane of section.
Results The ultrastructural evaluation revealed that control basophils (0 time–6h) did not undergo regulated secretion or develop the morphologies associated with recovery following secretion. FMLP-stimulated basophils underwent an overlapping continuum of piecemeal degranulation - anaphylactic degranutation (0 time- I min), producing vesicle- and granule-free, completely degranulated, viable, mature basophils with polylobed nuclei. The early recovery period (10 min-h) following FMLP stimulation was characterized by reconstitution of granules. Morphological mechanisms for granule reconstitution included a mixture of conservation, condensation, and synthetic events.
Coticlttsion Human basophils, like guinea pig basophils, have the polential to recover from regulated secretion.