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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2012, Article ID 274150, 8 pages
Review Article

Are Basophils Important Mediators for Helminth-Induced Th2 Immune Responses? A Debate

Departamento de Microbiología y Parasitología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 04510 México, DF, Mexico

Received 27 May 2011; Accepted 8 December 2011

Academic Editor: Abhay R. Satoskar

Copyright © 2012 Sonia Leon-Cabrera and Ana Flisser. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Helminth parasites induce Th2 immune responses. Immunological mechanisms leading to Th2 induction are mainly dependent on IL-4. However, early source of IL-4 has not been precisely identified. Noticeably, basophils seem to be important mediators for inducing and maintaining the Th2 response probably because they secrete IL-4 and exert functions similar to APCs. Nevertheless, recent experimental evidence points that DCs could be also significant participants during this process. The involvement of basophils during memory responses is also discussed.