Evaluation of CCR3 as a basophil activation marker

Aaruni Khanolkar*, Steven J. Burden, Benjamin Hansen, Andrew R. Wilson, Gregory J. Philipps, Harry R. Hill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objectives: Recent reports have provided conflicting evidence on the stability of CCR3 expression on the surface of basophils. Hence we wanted to independently evaluate the diagnostic usefulness of CCR3 as a surrogate marker of basophil activation and function. Methods: We examined the correlative relationship between CCR3 expression on the surface of donor basophils and histamine release after donor basophils were treated with agonistic antibodies directed against the high-affinity IgE-Fc receptor and serum samples from 80 individuals displaying symptoms of chronic urticaria (CU). Results: We observed that CCR3 was significantly downregulated on donor basophils treated with the agonistic antibody and CU-patient serum that demonstrated positive "histamine-releasing activity" (HRA scores >10). However, CCR3 downregulation was also observed on donor basophils incubated with more than 40% of CU-patient serum samples with HRA scores less than or equal to 10. Conclusions: Overall our data show that CCR3 demonstrates adequate sensitivity (83%) but weak specificity (59%) in its ability to reliably identify histamine-releasing activated basophils.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-300
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of clinical pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Basophils
  • CCR3
  • Chronic urticaria
  • Flow cytometry
  • GMFI ratio
  • HRA score

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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