Beyond il-5: Metabolic reprogramming and stromal support are prerequisite for generation and survival of long-lived eosinophil

Mackenzie E. Coden, Matthew T. Walker, Brian M. Jeong, Andrew R. Connelly, Sergejs Berdnikovs*, Reina Nagasaka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Eosinophils play surprisingly diverse roles in health and disease. Accordingly, we have now begun to appreciate the scope of the functional and phenotypic heterogeneity and plasticity of these cells. Along with tissue-recruited subsets during inflammation, there are tissue resident eosinophil phenotypes with potentially longer life spans and less dependency on IL-5 for survival. Current models to study murine eosinophils ex vivo rely on IL-5-sustained expansion of eosinophils from bone marrow hematopoietic progenitors. Although it does generate eosinophils (bmEos) in high purity, such systems are short-lived (14 days on average) and depend on IL-5. In this report, we present a novel method of differentiating large numbers of pure bone marrow-derived eosinophils with a long-lived phenotype (llEos) (40 days on average) that require IL-5 for initial differentiation, but not for subsequent survival. We identified two key factors in the development of llEos: metabolic adaptation and reprogramming induced by suppressed nutrient intake during active differentiation (from Day 7 of culture), and interaction with IL-5-primed stromal cells for the remainder of the protocol. This regimen results in a higher yield and viability of mature eosinophils. Phenotypically, llEos develop as Siglec-F(+)Ly6G(+) cells transitioning to Siglec-F(+) only, and exhibit typical eosinophil features with red eosin granular staining, as well as the ability to chemotax to eotaxin Ccl11 and process fibrinogen. This culture system requires less reagent input and allows us to study eosinophils long-term, which is a significant improvement over IL-5-driven differentiation protocols. Moreover, it provides important insights into factors governing eosinophil plasticity and the ability to assume long-lived IL-5-independent phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number815
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Amino acids
  • Biologics
  • Bone marrow
  • Carbohydrates
  • Chemotaxis
  • Eosinophils
  • Glucose
  • IL-5
  • Metabolism
  • Stromal cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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