Cellular transfer of cutaneous basophil hypersensitivity (CBH) was studied. Guinea pigs immunized for CBH with incomplete Freund's adjuvant (IFA) provided cells which could transfer delayed and basophil-rich reactions in skin tests of recipients. Guinea pigs immunized with complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) and skin tested at 3 weeks have classical tuberculin-type delayed hypersensitivity reactions (DH), which are characteristically devoid of basophils. However, recipients of cells from donors with DH, surprisingly, were found to have delayed skin reactions containing large basophil infiltrates which were lacking in the donors. Thus, recipients of classical cell transfers of tuberculin-type DH had delayed reactions which resembled CBH. Control experiments verified that the cell transfer of CBH from donors with DH was due to passive transfer with live cells and not transfer of contaminating humoral factors or active sensitization of recipients. It was concluded that cutaneous basophil responses were suppressed in CFA-immunized donors and expressed in cell transfer recipients.

Cells from donors immunized with CFA were enriched for nonadherent and nonimmunoglobulin-bearing lymphocytes by passage through nylon wool columns, and these cells transferred conjugate specific CBH reactions. It was concluded that cells mediating these transfers were probably T cells. The finding of basophils in cell transfers of DH and a variety of other findings suggesting complex regulation of basophil numbers in tissue lead to the conclusion that the term CBH be used to simply describe a basophil-containing skin reaction.


This work was supported in part by grants from The American Cancer Society IM-70B, and by Research Grants AI-12211 and AI-11077 from The United States Public Health Service.

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