Eosinophil Knockout Humans: Uncovering the Role of Eosinophils through Eosinophil-Directed Biological Therapies

Elizabeth A. Jacobsen, David J. Jackson, Enrico Heffler, Sameer K. Mathur, Albert J. Bredenoord, Ian D. Pavord, Praveen Akuthota, Florence Roufosse, Marc E. Rothenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The enigmatic eosinophil has emerged as an exciting component of the immune system, involved in a plethora of homeostatic and inflammatory responses. Substantial progress has been achieved through experimental systems manipulating eosinophils in vivo, initially in mice and more recently in humans. Researchers using eosinophil knockout mice have identified a contributory role for eosinophils in basal and inflammatory processes and protective immunity. Primarily fueled by the purported proinflammatory role of eosinophils in eosinophil-associated diseases, a series of anti-eosinophil therapeutics have emerged as a new class of drugs. These agents, which dramatically deplete eosinophils, provide a valuable opportunity to characterize the consequences of eosinophil knockout humans. Herein, we comparatively describe mouse and human eosinophil knockouts. We put forth the view that human eosinophils negatively contribute to a variety of diseases and, unlike mouse eosinophils, do not yet have an identified role in physiological health; thus, clarifying all roles of eosinophils remains an ongoing pursuit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-757
Number of pages39
JournalAnnual Review of Immunology
StatePublished - Apr 26 2021


  • IL-5
  • biologic agents
  • eosinophil
  • eosinophil knockout
  • eosinophil-associated diseases
  • eosinophil-deficient mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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