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Evaluation of CCR3 as a Basophil Activation Marker

Khanolkar, A.; Burden, S. J.; Hansen, B.; Wilson, A. R.; Philipps, G. J.; Hill, H. R.

Am J Clin Pathol. 2013 Aug 21; 140(3):293-300


Objectives: Recent reports have provided conflicting evidence on the stability of CCR3 expression on the surface of basophils. Hence we wanted to independently evaluate the diagnostic usefulness of CCR3 as a surrogate marker of basophil activation and function. Methods: We examined the correlative relationship between CCR3 expression on the surface of donor basophils and histamine release after donor basophils were treated with agonistic antibodies directed against the high-affinity IgE-Fc receptor and serum samples from 80 individuals displaying symptoms of chronic urticaria (CU). Results: We observed that CCR3 was significantly downregulated on donor basophils treated with the agonistic antibody and CU-patient serum that demonstrated positive "histamine-releasing activity" (HRA scores >10). However, CCR3 downregulation was also observed on donor basophils incubated with more than 40% of CU-patient serum samples with HRA scores less than or equal to 10. Conclusions: Overall our data show that CCR3 demonstrates adequate sensitivity (83%) but weak specificity (59%) in its ability to reliably identify histamine-releasing activated basophils.

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