Human peripheral blood eosinophils released eosinophil survival-enhancing activity when stimulated with the calcium ionophore, ionomycin. The release of activity was detected as early as 3 h after stimulation and was inhibited by an immunomodulating agent, cyclosporin A. The survival-enhancing activity was completely abolished by treatment with anti-interleukin 3 (IL-3) and anti-granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) monoclonal antibodies. Moreover, IL-3 and GM-CSF were measurable in ionomycin-stimulated eosinophil supernatants by immunoassay. Eosinophils produced approximately one-half as much IL-3 and one-fifth as much GM-CSF as ionomycin-stimulated mononuclear cells. Neutrophils also produced IL-3 and GM-CSF, but the amounts were less than those produced by eosinophils. These observations suggest a novel role for eosinophils in pathophysiology of allergic inflammation and host defense mechanisms.

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