Assays of Eosinophil Apoptosis and Phagocytic Uptake

Naomi N. Gachanja, David A. Dorward, Adriano G. Rossi, Christopher D. Lucas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

Eosinophil apoptosis (programmed cell death) plays an important role in several inflammatory and allergic conditions. Apoptosis triggers various mechanisms including activation of cysteine-aspartic proteases (caspases) and is characterized by morphological and biochemical changes. These include cellular condensation, nuclear fragmentation, increased mitochondrial permeability with loss of membrane potential, and exposure of phosphatidylserine on the cell membrane. A greater understanding of apoptotic mechanisms, subsequent phagocytosis (efferocytosis), and regulation of these processes is critical to understanding disease pathogenesis and development of potential novel therapeutic agents. Release of soluble factors and alterations to surface marker expression by eosinophils undergoing apoptosis aid them in signaling their presence to the immediate environment, and their subsequent recognition by phagocytic cells such as macrophages. Uptake of apoptotic cells usually suppresses inflammation by restricting proinflammatory responses and promoting anti-inflammatory and tissue repair responses. This, in turn, promotes resolution of inflammation. Defects in the apoptotic or efferocytosis mechanisms perpetuate inflammation, resulting in chronic inflammation and enhanced disease severity. This can be due to increased eosinophil life span or cell necrosis characterized by loss of cell membrane integrity and release of toxic intracellular mediators. In this chapter, we detail some of the key assays that are used to assess eosinophil apoptosis, as well as the intracellular signaling pathways involved and phagocytic clearance of these cells.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEosinophils
Subtitle of host publicationMethods and Protocols
EditorsGary M Walsh
PublisherHumana, New York, NY
ISBN (Print)978-1-0716-1094-7
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2021

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6029


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