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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Calcium ionophore A23187 calcium-dependent cytolytic degranulation in human eosinophils.

The divalent cation ionophore A23187 is frequently used for studies of eosinophil degranulation. Nonetheless, the mechanism whereby A23187 induces degranulation in human eosinophils is still unclear. In the present experiments, A23187 caused human eosinophils to release a granule protein, eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN) and a membrane-associated protein, Charcot-Leyden crystal (CLC) protein in a calcium and a concentration-dependent manner. However, A23187 at a concentration (1 microgram/ml) that caused 15% EDN release and 30% CLC protein release also produced release of the cytoplasmic enzyme lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) and loss of cell viability, both of which were calcium dependent. CLC protein release preceded EDN release and was detectable even at 15 min after the addition of 1 microgram/ml A23187, whereas EDN release occurred after a lag period of 30 min, and coincided with LDH release. At 1 microgram/ml A23187, neither the release of LDH nor the loss of viability occurred with purified neutrophils obtained in the same blood sample as a by-product of eosinophil purification. Electron microscopic examination demonstrated that exposure to A23187 for 15 min resulted in an increase and elongation of microridges on the cell surface, and exposure for 45 min caused cell disruption followed by extrusion of membrane-bound granules through breaks in the plasma membrane. Only once was granule exocytosis observed. These results indicate that A23187 treatment of eosinophils causes an initial release of membrane-associated CLC protein by a noncytolytic mechanism, and causes degranulation as a result of eosinophil lysis.[1]


  1. Calcium ionophore A23187 calcium-dependent cytolytic degranulation in human eosinophils. Fukuda, T., Ackerman, S.J., Reed, C.E., Peters, M.S., Dunnette, S.L., Gleich, G.J. J. Immunol. (1985) [Pubmed]
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