Unstained human eosinophils exhibit unusually bright autofluorescence, which allows them to be distinguished from other leukocytes using fluorescence microscopy. Eosinophil fluorescence is associated with the cytoplasmic granules of the cells. Eosinophil granule extracts, containing an as-yet-undefined eosinophil fluorescence factor, exhibited excitation maxima at 370 nm and 450 nm, with maximum emission at 520 nm. Eosinophils adhering to opsonized parasites in vitro deposit fluorescent material onto the parasite surface. Eosinophil fluorescence was of sufficient intensity to allow the preparation of viable, highly enriched (≥98%), eosinophil suspensions from peripheral blood of normal and eosinophilic donors using a fluorescence-activated cell sorter. Quantitative studies of eosinophil autofluorescence were performed using flow microfluorometry. Fluorescence intensity of blood eosinophils from normal volunteers and eosinophilic patients varied inversely with the log of the donor's absolute eosinophil count regardless of clinical diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1099-1104
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1981


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