Basophils possess membrane bound IgE molecules, and immunological activation leads to a secretory process with cell degranulation and histamine release. Heterologous anti IgE, concanavaline A, and phytohaemagglutinin are potent non-cytotoxic releasing agents. They operate by a mechanism similar to that of immunological activation. Heavy water is not a histamine releasing inducer but it increases histamine release of the cells. We studied the histamine release reaction of leukaemic basophils in 10 patients and found a physiological response such as that previously reported with normal human basophils.
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