Serum basophil-stimulating activity in the guinea-pig during induction of basophilic responses to ovalbumin and tick feeding.
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We have described functional and biochemical characteristics of a distinct T-cell dependent guinea-pig basophil-stimulating factor (BSF), measured using a sensitive 7-day bone marrow culture assay, standardized with high-activity BSF present in serum-free splenic cell-conditioned medium (CM). In the present studies, the in vivo relevance of BSF was explored during protocols of induction of peripheral blood or tissue basophil responses to ovalbumin (OA) injection or Amblyomma americanum tick feeding. Pooled immune serum, taken from OA-injected inbred or outbred animals during induction of blood and marrow basophilia, contained an in vitro inhibitor to BSF at high concentrations and BSF-like activity at low concentrations; maximal stimulation of histamine synthesis by bone marrow cells in vitro was found in the presence of Day 4 OA-immune serum. In vivo studies in the OA model demonstrated maximal serum BSF-like activity at 48-72 hr before peak bone marrow basophil response, followed by a levelling off to 50% of maximum at 2 weeks. In the tick model, serum BSF-like activity was present in Day 8, but not Day 1, post-primary infection and was maximal at Day 3 post-secondary infection; post-primary Day 1 serum was inhibitory to basophil growth in vitro. These observations suggest that BSF regulates the appearance of basophils in response to antigen in vivo by an effect on basophil progenitors. The observations stress the potential application of guinea-pig models to understanding the regulation of basophil production in allergic disorders.
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