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Keywords:

  • basophils;
  • Th2 cell;
  • helminth;
  • cytokine;
  • immunity;
  • inflammation

Recent studies indicate that basophils perform essential functions in multiple models of Th2 cytokine-dependent immunity and inflammation. In addition to their role as late phase effector cells, basophil populations can express MHC class II and costimulatory molecules, migrate into draining lymph nodes, present antigen to naive CD4+ T cells, and promote Th2 cell differentiation. In this context, basophils have been shown to contribute to the induction and propagation of Th2 cytokine responses following exposure to some helminth parasites or allergens. In this review, we discuss recent studies that provide new insights into basophil development, regulation, and effector function. In addition, we discuss the ability of basophils to act both independently and cooperatively with dendritic cells to support Th2 cytokine-mediated inflammation.