University of Wisconsin–Madison

Research

Eosinophil Activation

Eosinophils can be acutely or chronically activated by exposure to cytokines in the milieu. There are numerous eosinophil-related diseases (the most well-known being asthma) that can result from improper or prolonged activation. Following activation, eosinophils undergo a dramatic shape change, with granules moving to one pole and the nucleus to the other (Fig 1).

Our goal is to use proteomic data from unstimulated and activated eosinophils to elucidate the ways in which activation status is governed. In practice, this means that we are interested in generating hypotheses about signaling pathways based on proteomic evidence for changes in phosphorylation status. We use a range of molecular and cell biology techniques to investigate eosinophils.

Fig 1. Activation of human blood eosinophils by interleukin-5 (IL5). Differential interference contrast video microscopy of purified human blood eosinophils on periostin-coated coverslips (5 µg/mL) activated upon exposure to IL5 (50 ng/mL). Video is sped up 20x the original speed. (Additional results and videos published in Baretto et al. 2018)