Eosinophils: ‘new’ roles for ‘old’ cells


Francesca Levi-Schaffer, PhD
Department of Pharmacology
School of Pharmacy
Faculty of Medicine
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
POB 12065
Jerusalem 91120


Prominent blood and tissue eosinophilia is manifested in a number of inflammatory states, particularly in allergic diseases. Eosinophils are a source of numerous cytokines and growth factors, thus in principle they can display both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory activities as well as immunoregulatory ones. In this review, we will discuss the cross-talk between eosinophils and other cell types that they come in contact with in the inflammatory milieu, such as mast cells, fibroblasts and endothelial cells. ‘New’ roles for eosinophils in cancer and novel activatory signals will also be described.