Primary tumors from mucosal barrier organs drive unique eosinophil infiltration patterns and clinical associations

Sharon Grisaru-Tal, Michal Itan, Daniel G. Grass, Javier Torres-Roca, Steven A. Eschrich, Yaara Gordon, Avishay Dolitzky, Inbal Hazut, Shmuel Avlas, Elizabeth A. Jacobsen, Tomer Ziv-Baran, Ariel Munitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Eosinophils are bone marrow-derived granulocytes that display key effector functions in allergic diseases. Nonetheless, recent data highlight important roles for eosinophils in the tumor microenvironment (TME). Eosinophils have been attributed with pleiotropic and perhaps conflicting functions, which may be attributed at least in part to variations in eosinophil quantitation in the TME. Thus, a reliable, quantitative, and robust method for the assessment of eosinophilic infiltration in the TME is required. This type of methodology could standardize the identification of these cells and promote the subsequent generation of hypothesis-driven mechanistic studies. To this end, we conducted a comprehensive analysis of multiple primary tumors from distinct anatomical sites using a standardized method. Bioinformatics analysis of 10,469 genomically profiled primary tumors revealed that eosinophil abundance within different tumors can be categorized into three groups representing tumors with high, intermediate, and low eosinophil levels. Consequently, eosinophil abundance, as well as spatial distribution, was determined in tissue tumor arrays of six tumors representing all three classifications (colon and esophagus–high; lung–intermediate; cervix, ovary, and breast–low). With the exception of breast cancer, eosinophils were mainly localized in the tumor stroma. Importantly, the tumor anatomical site was identified as the primary predictive factor of eosinophil stromal density highlighting a distinction between mucosal-barrier organs versus non-mucosal barrier organs. These findings enhance our understanding of eosinophil diversity in the TME and provide a compelling rationale for future experiments assessing the activity of these cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1859732
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021


  • Eosinophils
  • allergy
  • mucosal barrier tissues
  • tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Oncology


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