Purification of functional eosinophils from human bone marrow

Tina W. Wong, Diane F. Jelinek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Eosinophils are granulocytic leukocytes that are best known for their involvement in host immune defense and pathologic states. More recently, they have also been shown to play a role in regulation of murine plasma cell homeostasis in the bone marrow, which prompted our investigation of human bone marrow eosinophils. However, effective methods to isolate eosinophils from human bone marrow thereby allowing comparisons with circulating eosinophils have not yet been described. Herein we describe the development of a novel, cost effective protocol for the purification of eosinophils from human bone marrow that allows us to obtain bone marrow eosinophils of near 100% purity after an 8-day culture system. Furthermore, we demonstrate that bone marrow eosinophils have characteristics similar to blood eosinophils, including the expression of IL-5Rα, the presence of eosinophil-specific granules, and similar activation kinetics upon phorbol myristate acetate and high-dose IL-5 stimulation. While migratory responses toward the chemokine CXCL12 differed between purified bone marrow and freshly isolated blood eosinophils, migratory responses were similar upon comparison of bone marrow eosinophils with blood eosinophils cultured ex vivo for 8. days prior to assay. Interestingly, a concurrent upregulation of CXCR4 expression was not observed in these cultured blood eosinophils. Taken together, we have overcome the existing challenges to the study of bone marrow eosinophils through our novel strategy for cell purification and have thus enabled future investigations of these cells and their role(s) in human health and disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-139
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunological Methods
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 31 2013


  • Activation
  • Bone marrow
  • CXCR4
  • Chemotaxis
  • Eosinophil purification
  • Eosinophils

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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