Deciphering the role of eosinophils in solid organ transplantation

Oscar Okwudiri Onyema, Yizhan Guo, Atsushi Hata, Daniel Kreisel, Andrew E. Gelman, Elizabeth A. Jacobsen, Alexander Sasha Krupnick

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Eosinophils are rare granulocytes that belong to the innate arm of the immune system. This cell population is traditionally defined as a destructive and cytotoxic mediator in asthma and helminth infection. Limited data in transplantation have suggested that eosinophils play a similar role in potentiating deleterious organ inflammation and immunologic rejection. Contrary to this long-held notion, recent data have uncovered the possibility that eosinophils play an alternative role in immune homeostasis, defense against a wide range of pathogens, as well as downregulation of deleterious inflammation. Specifically, translational data from small animal models of lung transplantation have demonstrated a critical role for eosinophils in the downregulation of alloimmunity. These findings shed new light on the unique immunologic features of the lung allograft and demonstrate that environmental polarization may alter the phenotype and function of leukocyte populations previously thought to be static in nature. In this review, we provide an update on eosinophils in the homeostasis of the lung as well as other solid organs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)924-930
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of transplantation : official journal of the American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • basic (laboratory) research/science
  • cellular biology
  • immunobiology
  • lung disease: immune/inflammatory
  • lung transplantation/pulmonology
  • lymphocyte biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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