Basophilic cell progenitors, nasal metachromatic cells, and peripheral blood basophils in ragweed-allergic patients+
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Circulating hematopoietic progenitor cells giving rise to colonies containing basophilic cells (basophilic cell colony-forming units in culture [CFU-c]), nasal epithelial metachromatic cells (basophils and/or mast cells) (NMC), and blood basophils were enumerated before, during, and after a ragweed-pollen season in patients with ragweed hayfever and patients with perennial allergic rhinitis who were not ragweed allergic. In the patients with seasonal hay fever, the following was observed: basophilic cell CFU-c, measured as basophilic cell or histamine-containing colonies, were significantly reduced during the ragweed season compared to before (p less than 0.005) or after (p less than 0.025) the season in the ragweed-allergic group only. Conversely, peripheral blood basophils were higher during the ragweed season than before or after (p less than 0.001) in the ragweed-allergic group, whereas the number of NMC was higher during the season than before the season in this group (p less than 0.05). There were no such changes during the season in the group of patients with perennial allergic rhinitis. The observed seasonal changes in both NMC and circulating basophilic cell CFU-c are discussed in the context of lineage relationships among metachromatic cell types.
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