Education & Certifications

  • Ph.D., Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Medical Science (Immunology/Allergy) (2007)

Personal Interests

Backpacking : Completed John Muir Trail (215 miles) in 2 weeks
Climbing Mountains : Mt.Whitney, Mt.Shasta, Mt.Dana, White Mountain, Mt.Fuji


All Publications

  • Differences in the importance of mast cells, basophils, IgE and IgG, versus CD4(+) T cells and ILC2 cells, in primary and secondary immunity to Strongyloides venezuelensis. Infection and immunity Mukai, K., Karasuyama, H., Kabashima, K., Kubo, M., Galli, S. J. 2017


    There is evidence that mast cells, basophils and IgE can contribute to immune responses to parasites, however, the relative importance of these effector elements in parasite immunity is not fully understood. Previous work in Il3-deficient and c-kit mutant Kit(W/W-v) mice indicated that interleukin-3 and c-Kit contribute to expulsion of the intestinal nematode Strongyloides venezuelensis (S.v.) during primary infection. Our findings in mast cell-deficient Kit(W-sh/W-sh) mice and two types of mast cell-deficient mice that have normal c-kit: "Hello Kitty" and MasTRECK mice, confirmed prior work in Kit(W/W-v) mice suggesting that mast cells play an important role in S.v. egg clearance in primary infections. We also assessed a possible contribution of basophils in immune responses to S.v By immunohistochemistry, we found that numbers of basophils and mast cells, were markedly increased in the jejunal mucosa during primary infections with S.v Studies in basophil-deficient Mcpt8(DTR) mice revealed a small but significant contribution of basophils to S.v. egg clearance in primary infections. Studies in mice deficient in various components of immune responses showed that CD4(+) T cells and ILC2 cells, IgG, FcRγ, and to a lesser extent, IgE and FcϵRI, contribute to effective immunity in primary S.v infections. These findings support the conclusion that the hierarchy of importance of immune effector mechanisms in primary S.v. infection is: CD4(+) T cells/ILC2 cells, IgG and FcRγ>mast cells>IgE and FcϵRI>basophils. By contrast, in secondary S.v infection, our evidence indicates that CD4(+) T cells are critical but mast cells, antibodies, and basophils have little or no non-redundant roles.

    View details for DOI 10.1128/IAI.00053-17

    View details for PubMedID 28264908

  • IgE and mast cells in host defense against parasites and venoms. Seminars in immunopathology Mukai, K., Tsai, M., Starkl, P., Marichal, T., Galli, S. J. 2016; 38 (5): 581-603


    IgE-dependent mast cell activation is a major effector mechanism underlying the pathology associated with allergic disorders. The most dramatic of these IgE-associated disorders is the fatal anaphylaxis which can occur in some people who have developed IgE antibodies to otherwise innocuous antigens, such as those contained in certain foods and medicines. Why would such a highly "maladaptive" immune response develop in evolution and be retained to the present day? Host defense against parasites has long been considered the only beneficial function that might be conferred by IgE and mast cells. However, recent studies have provided evidence that, in addition to participating in host resistance to certain parasites, mast cells and IgE are critical components of innate (mast cells) and adaptive (mast cells and IgE) immune responses that can enhance host defense against the toxicity of certain arthropod and animal venoms, including enhancing the survival of mice injected with such venoms. Yet, in some people, developing IgE antibodies to insect or snake venoms puts them at risk for having a potentially fatal anaphylactic reaction upon subsequent exposure to such venoms. Delineating the mechanisms underlying beneficial versus detrimental innate and adaptive immune responses associated with mast cell activation and IgE is likely to enhance our ability to identify potential therapeutic targets in such settings, not only for reducing the pathology associated with allergic disorders but perhaps also for enhancing immune protection against pathogens and animal venoms.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s00281-016-0565-1

    View details for PubMedID 27225312

  • Assessing basophil activation by using flow cytometry and mass cytometry in blood stored 24 hours before analysis. journal of allergy and clinical immunology Mukai, K., Gaudenzio, N., Gupta, S., Vivanco, N., Bendall, S. C., Maecker, H. T., Chinthrajah, R. S., Tsai, M., Nadeau, K. C., Galli, S. J. 2016


    Basophil activation tests (BATs) have promise for research and for clinical monitoring of patients with allergies. However, BAT protocols vary in blood anticoagulant used and temperature and time of storage before testing, complicating comparisons of results from various studies.We attempted to establish a BAT protocol that would permit analysis of blood within 24 hours of obtaining the sample.Blood from 46 healthy donors and 120 patients with peanut allergy was collected into EDTA or heparin tubes, and samples were stored at 4°C or room temperature for 4 or 24 hours before performing BATs.Stimulation with anti-IgE or IL-3 resulted in strong upregulation of basophil CD203c in samples collected in EDTA or heparin, stored at 4°C, and analyzed 24 hours after sample collection. However, a CD63(hi) population of basophils was not observed in any conditions in EDTA-treated samples unless exogenous calcium/magnesium was added at the time of anti-IgE stimulation. By contrast, blood samples collected in heparin tubes were adequate for quantification of upregulation of basophil CD203c and identification of a population of CD63(hi) basophils, irrespective of whether the specimens were analyzed by means of conventional flow cytometry or cytometry by time-of-flight mass spectrometry, and such tests could be performed after blood was stored for 24 hours at 4°C.BATs to measure upregulation of basophil CD203c and induction of a CD63(hi) basophil population can be conducted with blood obtained in heparin tubes and stored at 4°C for 24 hours.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jaci.2016.04.060

    View details for PubMedID 27527263

  • Potential effector and immunoregulatory functions of mast cells in mucosal immunity MUCOSAL IMMUNOLOGY Reber, L. L., Sibilano, R., Mukai, K., Galli, S. J. 2015; 8 (3): 444-463


    Mast cells (MCs) are cells of hematopoietic origin that normally reside in mucosal tissues, often near epithelial cells, glands, smooth muscle cells, and nerves. Best known for their contributions to pathology during IgE-associated disorders such as food allergy, asthma, and anaphylaxis, MCs are also thought to mediate IgE-associated effector functions during certain parasite infections. However, various MC populations also can be activated to express functional programs--such as secreting preformed and/or newly synthesized biologically active products--in response to encounters with products derived from diverse pathogens, other host cells (including leukocytes and structural cells), damaged tissue, or the activation of the complement or coagulation systems, as well as by signals derived from the external environment (including animal toxins, plant products, and physical agents). In this review, we will discuss evidence suggesting that MCs can perform diverse effector and immunoregulatory roles that contribute to homeostasis or pathology in mucosal tissues.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/mi.2014.131

    View details for Web of Science ID 000354085700002

  • Selective ablation of mast cells or basophils reduces peanut-induced anaphylaxis in mice. journal of allergy and clinical immunology Reber, L. L., Marichal, T., Mukai, K., Kita, Y., Tokuoka, S. M., Roers, A., Hartmann, K., Karasuyama, H., Nadeau, K. C., Tsai, M., Galli, S. J. 2013; 132 (4): 881-8 e1 11


    Studies with c-kit mutant mast cell (MC)-deficient mice and antibody-mediated depletion of basophils suggest that both MCs and basophils can contribute to peanut-induced anaphylaxis (PIA). However, interpretation of data obtained by using such approaches is complicated because c-kit mutant mice have several phenotypic abnormalities in addition to MC deficiency and because basophil-depleting antibodies can also react with MCs.We analyzed (1) the changes in the features of PIA in mice after the selective and inducible ablation of MCs or basophils and (2) the possible importance of effector cells other than MCs and basophils in the PIA response.Wild-type and various mutant mice were orally sensitized with peanut extract and cholera toxin weekly for 4 weeks and challenged intraperitoneally with peanut extract 2 weeks later.Peanut-challenged, MC-deficient Kit(W-sh/W-sh) mice had reduced immediate hypothermia, as well as a late-phase decrease in body temperature that was abrogated by antibody-mediated depletion of neutrophils. Diphtheria toxin-mediated selective depletion of MCs or basophils in Mcpt5-Cre;iDTR and Mcpt8(DTR) mice, respectively, and treatment of wild-type mice with the basophil-depleting antibody Ba103 significantly reduced peanut-induced hypothermia. Non-c-kit mutant MC- and basophil-deficient Cpa3-Cre;Mcl-1(fl/fl) mice had reduced but still significant responses to peanut.Inducible and selective ablation of MCs or basophils in non-c-kit mutant mice can significantly reduce PIA, but partial responses to peanut can still be observed in the virtual absence of both cell types. The neutrophilia in Kit(W-sh/W-sh) mice might influence the responses of these mice in this PIA model.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jaci.2013.06.008

    View details for PubMedID 23915716

  • Inflammatory monocytes recruited to allergic skin acquire an anti-inflammatory M2 phenotype via basophil-derived interleukin-4. Immunity Egawa, M., Mukai, K., Yoshikawa, S., Iki, M., Mukaida, N., Kawano, Y., Minegishi, Y., Karasuyama, H. 2013; 38 (3): 570-580


    Monocytes and macrophages are important effectors and regulators of inflammation, and both can be divided into distinct subsets based on their phenotypes. The developmental and functional relationship between individual subsets of monocytes and those of macrophages has not been fully elucidated, although Ly6C(+)CCR2(+) inflammatory and Ly6C(-)CCR2(-) resident monocytes are generally thought to differentiate into M1 (classically activated) and M2 (alternatively activated) macrophages, respectively. Here we show that inflammatory monocytes recruited to allergic skin acquired an M2-like phenotype in response to basophil-derived interleukin-4 (IL-4) and exerted an anti-inflammatory function. CCR2-deficient mice unexpectedly displayed an exacerbation rather than alleviation of allergic inflammation, in spite of impaired recruitment of inflammatory monocytes to skin lesions. Adoptive transfer of inflammatory monocytes from wild-type but not IL-4 receptor-deficient mice dampened the exacerbated inflammation in CCR2-deficient mice. Thus, inflammatory monocytes can be converted from being proinflammatory to anti-inflammatory under the influence of basophils in allergic reactions.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.immuni.2012.11.014

    View details for PubMedID 23434060

  • Critical role of P1-Runx1 in mouse basophil development BLOOD Mukai, K., Benbarak, M. J., Tachibana, M., Nishida, K., Karasuyama, H., Taniuchi, I., Galli, S. J. 2012; 120 (1): 76-85


    Runx1(P1N/P1N) mice are deficient in the transcription factor distal promoter-derived Runt-related transcription factor 1 (P1-Runx1) and have a > 90% reduction in the numbers of basophils in the BM, spleen, and blood. In contrast, Runx1(P1N/P1N) mice have normal numbers of the other granulocytes (neutrophils and eosinophils). Although basophils and mast cells share some common features, Runx1(P1N/P1N) mice have normal numbers of mast cells in multiple tissues. Runx1(P1N/P1N) mice fail to develop a basophil-dependent reaction, IgE-mediated chronic allergic inflammation of the skin, but respond normally when tested for IgE- and mast cell-dependent passive cutaneous anaphylaxis in vivo or IgE-dependent mast cell degranulation in vitro. These results demonstrate that Runx1(P1N/P1N) mice exhibit markedly impaired function of basophils, but not mast cells. Infection with the parasite Strongyloides venezuelensis and injections of IL-3, each of which induces marked basophilia in wild-type mice, also induce modest expansions of the very small populations of basophils in Runx1(P1N/P1N) mice. Finally, Runx1(P1N/P1N) mice have normal numbers of the granulocyte progenitor cells, SN-Flk2(+/-), which can give rise to all granulocytes, but exhibit a > 95% reduction in basophil progenitors. The results of the present study suggest that P1-Runx1 is critical for a stage of basophil development between SN-Flk2(+/-) cells and basophil progenitors.

    View details for DOI 10.1182/blood-2011-12-399113

    View details for Web of Science ID 000307411100015

    View details for PubMedID 22611151

  • Th2-inducing cytokines IL-4 and IL-33 synergistically elicit the expression of transmembrane TNF-alpha on macrophages through the autocrine action of IL-6 BIOCHEMICAL AND BIOPHYSICAL RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS Ogawa, H., Mukai, K., Kawano, Y., Minegishi, Y., Karasuyama, H. 2012; 420 (1): 114-118


    Tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF-?) is a potent proinflammatory cytokine produced predominantly by activated macrophages, and plays a central role in the protective immunity against intracellular pathogens and the pathogenesis of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. While both the soluble and transmembrane forms of TNF-? (sTNF-? and tmTNF-?) are biologically functional, the latter but not the former acts as a receptor besides as a ligand, and transmit a retrograde signal in a cell-to-cell contact manner. The production of TNF-? by macrophages under Th2-type (allergic) inflammatory conditions has been ill defined, compared to that under Th1-type inflammatory conditions. Here we examined the effect of representative Th2-inducing cytokines IL-4 and IL-33 on the TNF-? expression in macrophages. IL-4 induced the production of neither sTNF-? nor tmTNF-? while IL-33 promoted the production of sTNF-? with no detectable tmTNF-?. Notably, the combination of IL-4 and IL-33 elicited the tmTNF-? expression on macrophages, in addition to the enhanced production of sTNF-? and IL-6. The IL-4/IL-33-elicited tmTNF-? expression was not observed in IL-6-deficient macrophages, suggesting the involvement of macrophage-derived IL-6 in the tmTNF-? expression. Indeed, the stimulation of macrophages with the combination of IL-4 and IL-6 induced the tmTNF-? expression with no detectable production of sTNF-?. Thus, IL-4 and IL-33 synergistically elicit the tmTNF-? expression on macrophages through the autocrine action of IL-6.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bbrc.2012.02.124

    View details for Web of Science ID 000303431400020

    View details for PubMedID 22405769

  • Reduced mast cell and basophil numbers and function in Cpa3-Cre; Mcl-1(fl/fl) mice BLOOD Lilla, J. N., Chen, C., Mukai, K., Benbarak, M. J., Franco, C. B., Kalesnikoff, J., Yu, M., Tsai, M., Piliponsky, A. M., Galli, S. J. 2011; 118 (26): 6930-6938


    It has been reported that the intracellular antiapoptotic factor myeloid cell leukemia sequence 1 (Mcl-1) is required for mast cell survival in vitro, and that genetic manipulation of Mcl-1 can be used to delete individual hematopoietic cell populations in vivo. In the present study, we report the generation of C57BL/6 mice in which Cre recombinase is expressed under the control of a segment of the carboxypeptidase A3 (Cpa3) promoter. C57BL/6-Cpa3-Cre; Mcl-1(fl/fl) mice are severely deficient in mast cells (92%-100% reduced in various tissues analyzed) and also have a marked deficiency in basophils (58%-78% reduced in the compartments analyzed), whereas the numbers of other hematopoietic cell populations exhibit little or no changes. Moreover, Cpa3-Cre; Mcl-1(fl/fl) mice exhibited marked reductions in the tissue swelling and leukocyte infiltration that are associated with both mast cell- and IgE-dependent passive cutaneous anaphylaxis (except at sites engrafted with in vitro-derived mast cells) and a basophil- and IgE-dependent model of chronic allergic inflammation, and do not develop IgE-dependent passive systemic anaphylaxis. Our findings support the conclusion that Mcl-1 is required for normal mast cell and basophil development/survival in vivo in mice, and also suggest that Cpa3-Cre; Mcl-1(fl/fl) mice may be useful in analyzing the roles of mast cells and basophils in health and disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1182/blood-2011-03-343962

    View details for Web of Science ID 000298401000030

    View details for PubMedID 22001390

  • Newly appreciated roles for basophils in allergy and protective immunity ALLERGY Karasuyama, H., Obata, K., Wada, T., Tsujimura, Y., Mukai, K. 2011; 66 (9): 1133-1141


    Basophils are evolutionarily conserved in many animal species, in spite of the fact that they account for <1% of peripheral blood leukocyte. This suggests that basophils have an indispensable and nonredundant role in vivo, even though they show some phenotypic similarity with tissue-resident mast cells. However, their functional significance remained uncertain long after Paul Ehrlich discovered them as blood-circulating cells with basophilic granules more than 130 years ago. The study of basophils has been far behind that of mast cells, owing to the rarity of basophils and the paucity of tools for their detection and functional analysis. Recent development of novel analytical tools, including basophil-depleting antibodies and genetically engineered mice deficient only in basophils, has greatly advanced basophil research and illuminated previously unrecognized roles of basophils. We now appreciate that basophils and mast cells play distinct roles in immune responses. Basophils have crucial roles in the development of acute and chronic allergic responses, the protective immunity against ecto- and endoparasites, and the regulation of acquired immunity, including the augmentation of humoral memory responses and the initiation of Th2 responses. Thus, basophils are no longer the neglected minority and are key players in the immune system.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2011.02613.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000293343000002

    View details for PubMedID 21545430

  • Identification of an IFN-gamma/mast cell axis in a mouse model of chronic asthma JOURNAL OF CLINICAL INVESTIGATION Yu, M., Eckart, M. R., Morgan, A. A., Mukai, K., Butte, A. J., Tsai, M., Galli, S. J. 2011; 121 (8): 3133-3143


    Asthma is considered a Th2 cell–associated disorder. Despite this, both the Th1 cell–associated cytokine IFN-? and airway neutrophilia have been implicated in severe asthma. To investigate the relative contributions of different immune system components to the pathogenesis of asthma, we previously developed a model that exhibits several features of severe asthma in humans, including airway neutrophilia and increased lung IFN-?. In the present studies, we tested the hypothesis that IFN-? regulates mast cell function in our model of chronic asthma. Engraftment of mast cell–deficient KitW(-sh/W-sh) mice, which develop markedly attenuated features of disease, with wild-type mast cells restored disease pathology in this model of chronic asthma. However, disease pathology was not fully restored by engraftment with either IFN-? receptor 1–null (Ifngr1–/–) or Fc? receptor 1?–null (Fcer1g–/–) mast cells. Additional analysis, including gene array studies, showed that mast cell expression of IFN-?R contributed to the development of many Fc?RI?-dependent and some Fc?RI?-independent features of disease in our model, including airway hyperresponsiveness, neutrophilic and eosinophilic inflammation, airway remodeling, and lung expression of several cytokines, chemokines, and markers of an alternatively activated macrophage response. These findings identify a previously unsuspected IFN-?/mast cell axis in the pathology of chronic allergic inflammation of the airways in mice.

    View details for DOI 10.1172/JCI43598

    View details for Web of Science ID 000293495500024

    View details for PubMedID 21737883

  • NK Cell-Depleting Anti-Asialo GM1 Antibody Exhibits a Lethal Off-Target Effect on Basophils In Vivo JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY Nishikado, H., Mukai, K., Kawano, Y., Minegishi, Y., Karasuyama, H. 2011; 186 (10): 5766-5771


    NK cells are innate immune lymphocytes and play a key role in both innate and adaptive immunity. Their pivotal functions in vivo have been illustrated in mice by means of their ablation with NK cell-depleting Abs, particularly anti-asialo GM1 (ASGM1). In this study, we show that the whole population of basophils constitutively expresses ASGM1 as well as CD49b (DX5) as does the NK cell population and was ablated in vivo by anti-ASGM1 as efficiently as by a basophil-depleting anti-Fc?RI? Ab. Anti-ASGM1-mediated basophil depletion was operative as for NK cell depletion in various mouse strains, irrespective of NK1 allotype and MHC H2 haplotype, including C57BL/6, BALB/c, C3H, and A/J mice. These results identified basophils as a previously unrecognized target of anti-ASGM1-mediated cell depletion and raised concern about possible contribution of basophils, rather than or in addition to NK cells, to some of phenotypes observed in anti-ASGM1-treated mice. Indeed, regardless of the presence or absence of NK cells in mice, anti-ASGM1 treatment abolished the development of IgE-mediated chronic cutaneous allergic inflammation as efficiently as did the treatment with basophil-depleting Ab. Given the fact that basophils have recently been shown to play crucial roles in a variety of immune responses, our finding of the off-target effect on basophils issues a grave warning about the use of anti-ASGM1 and underscores the need for careful interpretation of phenotypes observed in anti-ASGM1-treated mice.

    View details for DOI 10.4049/jimmunol.1100370

    View details for Web of Science ID 000290150700027

    View details for PubMedID 21490162

  • Nonredundant Roles of Basophils in Immunity ANNUAL REVIEW OF IMMUNOLOGY, VOL 29 Karasuyama, H., Mukai, K., Obata, K., Tsujimura, Y., Wada, T. 2011; 29: 45-69


    Basophils are the rarest granulocytes and represent less than 1% of peripheral blood leukocytes. They are evolutionarily conserved in many animal species, but their functional significance remained an enigma long after their discovery by Paul Ehrlich in 1879. Studies of basophils were hindered by their rarity, by difficulties in identifying them, and by the paucity of useful analytical tools. Because basophils display several characteristics shared by tissue-resident mast cells, they were often considered minor and possibly redundant relatives of mast cells or even blood-circulating precursors of mast cells. However, newly developed tools for their functional analysis, including basophil-depleting antibodies and genetically engineered mice deficient only in basophils, have fueled basophil research and defined previously unrecognized functions of basophils. We now appreciate that basophils play nonredundant roles in acquired immunity regulation, protective immunity to pathogens, and immunological disorders such as allergy and autoimmunity.

    View details for DOI 10.1146/annurev-immunol-031210-101257

    View details for Web of Science ID 000289959200003

    View details for PubMedID 21166539

  • Thymic Stromal Lymphopoietin Contributes to Myeloid Hyperplasia and Increased Immunoglobulins, But Not Epidermal Hyperplasia, in RabGEF1-Deficient Mice AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PATHOLOGY Tsai, M., Chen, C., Mukai, K., Song, C. H., Thompson, L. J., Ziegler, S. F., Tam, S., Galli, S. J. 2010; 177 (5): 2411-2420


    Mice overexpressing the proallergic cytokine thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) in the skin develop a pathology resembling atopic dermatitis. RabGEF1, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Rab5 GTPase, is a negative regulator of IgE-dependent mast cell activation, and Rabgef1-/- and TSLP transgenic mice share many similar phenotypic characteristics, including elevated serum IgE levels and severe skin inflammation, with infiltrates of both lymphocytes and eosinophils. We report here that Rabgef1-/- mice also develop splenomegaly, lymphadenopathy, myeloid hyperplasia, and high levels of TSLP. Rabgef1-/-TSLPR-/- mice, which lack TSLP/TSLP receptor (TSLPR) signaling, had levels of blood neutrophils, spleen myeloid cells, and serum IL-4, IgG1, and IgE levels that were significantly reduced compared with those in Rabgef1-/-TSLPR+/+ mice. However, Rabgef1-/-TSLPR-/- mice, like Rag1- or eosinophil-deficient Rabgef1-/- mice, developed cutaneous inflammation and epidermal hyperplasia. Therefore, in Rabgef1-/- mice, TSLP/TSLPR interactions are not required for the development of epidermal hyperplasia but contribute to the striking myeloid hyperplasia and overproduction of immunoglobulins observed in these animals. Our study shows that RabGEF1 can negatively regulate TSLP production in vivo and that excessive production of TSLP contributes to many of the phenotypic abnormalities in Rabgef1-/- mice. However, the marked epidermal hyperplasia, cutaneous inflammation, and increased numbers of dermal mast cells associated with RabGEF1 deficiency can develop via a TSLPR-independent pathway, as well as in the absence of Rag1 or eosinophils.

    View details for DOI 10.2353/ajpath.2010.100181

    View details for Web of Science ID 000284182900028

    View details for PubMedID 20829437

  • Selective ablation of basophils in mice reveals their nonredundant role in acquired immunity against ticks JOURNAL OF CLINICAL INVESTIGATION Wada, T., Ishiwata, K., Koseki, H., Ishikura, T., Ugajin, T., Ohnuma, N., Obata, K., Ishikawa, R., Yoshikawa, S., Mukai, K., Kawano, Y., Minegishi, Y., Yokozeki, H., Watanabe, N., Karasuyama, H. 2010; 120 (8): 2867-2875


    Ticks are ectoparasitic arthropods that can transmit a variety of microorganisms to humans and animals during blood feeding, causing serious infectious disorders, including Lyme disease. Acaricides are pharmacologic agents that kill ticks. The emergence of acaricide-resistant ticks calls for alternative control strategies for ticks and tick-borne diseases. Many animals develop resistance to ticks after repeated infestations, but the nature of this acquired anti-tick immunity remains poorly understood. Here we investigated the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying acquired resistance to Haemaphysalis longicornis ticks in mice and found that antibodies were required, as was IgFc receptor expression on basophils but not on mast cells. The infiltration of basophils at tick-feeding sites occurred during the second, but not the first, tick infestation. To assess the requirement for basophil infiltration to acquired tick resistance, mice expressing the human diphtheria toxin receptor under the control of the mast cell protease 8 (Mcpt8) promoter were generated. Diphtheria toxin administration to these mice selectively ablated basophils. Diphtheria toxin-mediated basophil depletion before the second tick infestation resulted in loss of acquired tick resistance. These data provide the first clear evidence, to our knowledge, that basophils play an essential and nonredundant role in antibody-mediated acquired immunity against ticks, which may suggest new strategies for controlling tick-borne diseases.

    View details for DOI 10.1172/JCI42680

    View details for Web of Science ID 000280492100022

    View details for PubMedID 20664169

  • Role for basophils in systemic anaphylaxis. Chemical immunology and allergy Karasuyama, H., Tsujimura, Y., Obata, K., Mukai, K. 2010; 95: 85-97


    For more than 100 years since the discovery of basophils by Paul Ehrlich, the functional significance of this rare leukocyte as compared to mast cells has remained an enigma. Studies on basophils have long been hampered by their rarity (less than 1% of peripheral blood leukocytes) and the lack of useful analytical tools such as model animals deficient only in basophils. Recent studies have now defined previously-unrecognized roles for basophils in both allergic responses and immune regulation, and markedly changed our image of basophils, from a neglected minority to a key player in the immune system. We have recently demonstrated that basophils and mast cells play distinct roles in systemic anaphylaxis in mice. Basophils are dispensable for IgE-mediated systemic anaphylaxis unlike mast cells. Instead, basophils play the major role in IgG-mediated systemic anaphylaxis. In vivo depletion of basophils protects mice from anaphylactic death. Upon capture of IgG-allergen complexes, basophils release platelet-activating factor that increases vascular permeability, leading to anaphylactic shock. Thus, there are two major, distinct pathways to allergen-induced systemic anaphylaxis: one mediated by basophils, IgG and platelet-activating factor, and the other 'classical' pathway mediated by mast cells, IgE and histamine.

    View details for DOI 10.1159/000315939

    View details for PubMedID 20519883

  • Basophils preferentially express mouse mast cell protease 11 among the mast cell tryptase family in contrast to mast cells JOURNAL OF LEUKOCYTE BIOLOGY Ugajin, T., Kojima, T., Mukai, K., Obata, K., Kawano, Y., Minegishi, Y., Eishi, Y., Yokozeki, H., Karasuyama, H. 2009; 86 (6): 1417-1425


    Tryptases and chymases are the major proteins stored and secreted by mast cells, and they have various biological functions. However, the nature of proteases produced by basophils has been poorly characterized, particularly in mice. mMCP-11 is the most recently discovered mast cell tryptase in mice and was originally identified as Prss34, which is transcribed in some mast cell-like cell lines and at the early stage in the culture of BMMC with IL-3. Curiously, Prss34 is preferentially expressed in the BM and spleen among normal tissues in contrast to other mast cell tryptases. Therefore, it remains elusive what types of cells express mMCP-11 in vivo. Here, we show that mMCP-11 is highly expressed by primary basophils and to a much lesser extent, by some mast cells. Prss34 transcripts were detected abundantly in primary and cultured basophils and very weakly in peritoneal mast cells or cultured BMMC. Conversely, transcripts for mMCP-6 and mMCP-7 tryptases were preferentially expressed by cultured and peritoneal mast cells but not basophils. We established a mMCP-11-specific mAb and showed that mMCP-11 proteins are indeed expressed by primary basophils and those infiltrating the affected tissues during allergic inflammation and parasitic infections. Some primary mast cells also expressed mMCP-11 proteins, albeit at a much lower level. Thus, basophils rather than mast cells are the major source of mMCP-11. This is the first study to demonstrate that mouse basophils produce a trypsin-like protease.

    View details for DOI 10.1189/jlb.0609400

    View details for Web of Science ID 000272193000018

    View details for PubMedID 19703899

  • [The roles for basophils in allergy]. Nihon rinsho. Japanese journal of clinical medicine Mukai, K., Obata, K., Tsujimura, Y., Karasuyama, H. 2009; 67 (11): 2095-2099


    Basophils are the least common granulocytes, and account for less than 1% of peripheral blood leukocytes. Because of this minority status and their phenotypic similarity to mast cells, basophils have often been neglected in immunological studies or considered to have minor, redundant roles in immune responses in vivo. We have recently demonstrated that basophils play critical roles in IgG-mediated systemic anaphylaxis and IgE-mediated chronic allergic inflammation. Basophils also promote the Th2 differentiation and enhance the humoral memory response. Thus, basophils are a key player in both immune regulation and allergic responses. Basophils and their products seem to be promising therapeutic targets for allergic disorders.

    View details for PubMedID 19899522

  • New insights into the roles for basophils in acute and chronic allergy. Allergology international Mukai, K., Obata, K., Tsujimura, Y., Karasuyama, H. 2009; 58 (1): 11-19


    Basophils represent less than 1% of peripheral blood leukocytes. They are often recruited to the site of allergic inflammation, albeit in small numbers. However, it remained uncertain whether basophils play any significant role in allergic reactions or act as minor and redundant 'circulating mast cells'. We have recently demonstrated that basophils play critical roles in systemic anaphylaxis and chronic allergic inflammation, distinctively from mast cells. Basophils are one of the major players in the IgG- but not IgE-mediated systemic anaphylaxis, in contrast to mast cells. In response to the allergen-IgG immune complexes, basophils release the platelet-activating factor rather than histamine as the major chemical mediator to induce the systemic anaphylaxis. The depletion of basophils protects mice from death due to anaphylactic shock. Basophils also play a crucial role in the development of the IgE-mediated chronic allergic inflammation with massive eosinophil infiltration in the skin, independently of T cells and mast cells, even though basophils account for only approximately 2% of the infiltrates. The basophil depletion shows a therapeutic effect on on-going allergic inflammation. Accumulating evidence suggests that basophils function as initiators rather than effectors of the chronic allergic inflammation. Thus, basophils and their products seem to be promising therapeutic targets for allergic disorders.

    View details for DOI 10.2332/allergolint.08-RAI-0059

    View details for PubMedID 19153532

  • Newly discovered roles for basophils: a neglected minority gains new respect NATURE REVIEWS IMMUNOLOGY Karasuyama, H., Mukai, K., Tsujimura, Y., Obata, K. 2009; 9 (1): 9-13


    Basophils are the least common type of granulocyte and they account for less than 1% of peripheral blood leukocytes. Because of this minority status and a phenotype that is similar to mast cells, basophils have often been neglected in immunological studies or considered to have minor, redundant roles in immune responses in vivo. However, recent studies have now defined previously unrecognized roles for basophils in both immune regulation and allergic responses, and have shown that basophils and mast cells have distinct roles in immune responses.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nri2458

    View details for Web of Science ID 000261949700010

    View details for PubMedID 19039320

  • Basophils play a pivotal role in immunoglobulin-G-mediated but not immunoglobulin-E-mediated systemic anaphylaxis IMMUNITY Tsujimura, Y., Obata, K., Mukai, K., Shindou, H., Yoshida, M., Nishikado, H., Kawano, Y., Minegishi, Y., Shimizu, T., Karasuyama, H. 2008; 28 (4): 581-589


    Anaphylaxis is an acute, severe, and potentially fatal systemic allergic reaction. Immunoglobulin E (IgE), mast cells, and histamine have long been associated with anaphylaxis, but an alternative pathway mediated by IgG has been suggested to be more important in the elicitation of anaphylaxis. Here, we showed that basophils, the least common blood cells, were dispensable for IgE-mediated anaphylaxis but played a critical role in IgG-mediated, passive and active systemic anaphylaxis in mice. In vivo depletion of basophils but not macrophages, neutrophils, or NK cells ameliorated IgG-mediated passive anaphylaxis and rescued mice from death in active anaphylaxis. Upon capture of IgG-allergen complexes, basophils released platelet-activating factor (PAF), leading to increased vascular permeability. These results highlight a pivotal role for basophils in vivo and contrast two major, distinct pathways leading to allergen-induced systemic anaphylaxis: one mediated by basophils, IgG, and PAF and the other "classical" pathway mediated by mast cells, IgE, and histamine.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.immuni.2008.02.008

    View details for Web of Science ID 000254939400018

    View details for PubMedID 18342553

  • Mast cells and basophils are selectively activated in vitro and in vivo through CD200R3 in an IgE-Independent manner JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY Kojima, T., Obata, K., Mukai, K., Sato, S., Takai, T., Minegishi, Y., Karasuyama, H. 2007; 179 (10): 7093-7100


    Mast cells and basophils have been implicated in the host defense system against pathogens and in the development of allergic disorders. Although IgE-dependent responses via FcepsilonRI on these cells have been extensively studied, little is known about cell surface molecules that are selectively expressed by these cells and engaged in their activation via an IgE-independent mechanism. We have recently established two mAbs that reacted specifically with murine mast cells and basophils, and one of them selectively depleted basophils when administered in vivo. Biochemical and flow cytometric analyses revealed that both mAbs specifically recognized a CD200R-like protein, CD200R3, but not other CD200R family members. CD200R3 existed as a disulfide-linked dimer, unlike other CD200Rs, and was expressed on mast cells and basophils primarily in association with an ITAM-bearing adaptor DAP12. Cross-linking of CD200R3 with the mAbs induced degranulation in mast cells and production of the cytokine IL-4 in basophils in vitro. Administration of the nondepleting mAb in vivo elicited systemic and local anaphylaxis in a CD200R3-dependent manner. These results suggest that CD200R3 functions as an activating receptor on mast cells and basophils to regulate IgE-independent immune responses in cooperation with an inhibitory receptor CD200R, similar to the paired receptors expressed on NK cells.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000250792700079

    View details for PubMedID 17982101

  • Basophils are essential initiators of a novel type of chronic allergic inflammation BLOOD Obata, K., Mukai, K., Tsujimura, Y., Ishiwata, K., Kawano, Y., Minegishi, Y., Watanabe, N., Karasuyama, H. 2007; 110 (3): 913-920


    Basophils represent less than 1% of peripheral blood leukocytes and have often been considered as minor and possibly redundant circulating mast cells. The recent finding that basophils readily generate large quantities of T helper 2 (Th2) cytokines such as IL-4 provided new insights into the possible role of basophils in allergic disorders and immunity to pathogens. However, in-depth studies on basophils, particularly their functions in vivo, have been hampered by the lack of appropriate animal models, such as mutant animals deficient only in basophils. Here, we established a mAb that reacted with mouse basophils and depleted them when administered in vivo. The mAb treatment of mice did not show any significant effect on classical allergic reactions such as passive cutaneous anaphylaxis and contact hypersensitivity. In contrast, it completely abolished the development of IgE-mediated chronic allergic dermatitis that is characterized by massive eosinophil infiltration, even though basophils accounted for only approximately 2% of the infiltrates. The treatment during the progression of the dermatitis resulted in drastic reduction in numbers of infiltrating eosinophils and neutrophils, concomitantly with elimination of basophils from the skin lesions. Thus, basophils play a pivotal role in the development of IgE-mediated chronic allergic inflammation, as an initiator rather than as an effector.

    View details for DOI 10.1182/blood-2007-01-068718

    View details for Web of Science ID 000248514700027

    View details for PubMedID 17409268

  • Novel roles of basophils in immediate and chronic allergic reactions YAKUGAKU ZASSHI-JOURNAL OF THE PHARMACEUTICAL SOCIETY OF JAPAN Karasuyama, H., Mukai, K., Obata, K., Tsujimura, Y., Kawano, Y., Minegishi, Y. 2007; 127: 66-68
  • Different Stabilities of the structurally related receptors for IgE and IgG on the cell surface are determined by length of the stalk region in their alpha-chains JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY Kubota, T., Mukai, K., Minegishi, Y., Karasuyama, H. 2006; 176 (11): 7008-7014


    A variant of the high affinity IgE receptor FcepsilonRI, which is composed of alpha- and gamma-chains without the beta-chain, is expressed on human APC, such as dendritic cells, and has been suggested to facilitate Ag uptake through IgE and hence to facilitate Ag presentation to T cells. The level of FcepsilonRI on these cells is correlated with the serum IgE concentration, suggesting IgE mediates the up-regulation of the alphagamma2-type FcepsilonRI. The IgE-mediated FcepsilonRI up-regulation on mast cells and basophils has been shown to enhance the ability of these cells to release chemical mediators and cytokines that are responsible for allergic inflammatory reactions. Here, to elucidate the mechanism controlling FcepsilonRI expression, we compared two structurally related Ig receptors, human FcepsilonRI and FcgammaRIIIA, which carry different alpha-chains but the same gamma-chains. The half-life of FcepsilonRI on the cell surface was short unless it bound IgE, whereas FcgammaRIIIA was stably expressed without IgG binding. Shuffling of the non Ig-binding portions of the FcepsilonRIalpha and FcgammaRIIIAalpha chains revealed that the stalk region was critical in determining the difference in their stability and ligand-induced up-regulation. Unexpectedly, analyses with added or deleted amino acids in the stalk region strongly suggested that the length rather than the amino acid sequence of the stalk region was of major importance in determining the different stabilities of FcepsilonRI and FcgammaRIIIA on the cell surface. This finding provides new insights into the mechanism regulating surface FcepsilonRI expression.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000237754200069

    View details for PubMedID 16709862

  • Basophils play a critical role in the development of IgE-mediated chronic allergic inflammation independently of T cells and mast cells IMMUNITY Mukai, K., Matsuoka, K., Taya, C., Suzuki, H., Yokozeki, H., Nishioka, K., Hirokawa, K., Etori, M., Yamashita, M., Kubota, T., Minegishi, Y., Yonekawa, H., Karasuyama, H. 2005; 23 (2): 191-202


    The recruitment of basophils into the sites of allergic inflammation is often observed. However, no definitive evidence has been provided that basophils are crucially involved in the pathogenesis of chronic allergic disorders. Here, we show that basophils are responsible for the development of IgE-mediated chronic allergic inflammation independently of T cells and mast cells. A single subcutaneous injection of multivalent antigens elicited not only immediate- and late-phase ear swelling but also delayed-onset ear swelling with massive eosinophil infiltration in mice sensitized with antigen-specific IgE. Mast cells were essential for the immediate- and late-phase ear swelling but dispensable for the delayed one. T cells were also dispensable for the latter. Transfer of FcRI-expressing basophils into FcRI-deficient mice restored the development of the delayed-onset allergic inflammation. These findings indicate a novel mechanism of development of chronic allergic inflammation that is induced by basophils through the interaction of antigen, IgE, and FcRI.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.immuni.2005.06.011

    View details for Web of Science ID 000231721700009

    View details for PubMedID 16111637