A method is described for obtaining basophil-enriched preparations of white cells from normal donor blood and from the blood of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia. This histamine content of basophils obtained from normal donor blood was found to be equivalent to 2.4 ± 0.6 µg. histamine acid phosphate/106 basophils, and the histamine content of basophils obtained from patients with chronic myeloid leukemia was found to be equivalent to 1.8 ± 1.4 µg. histamine acid phosphate/106 basophils. The difference between the two mean values was significant (0.01 > p > 0.001).
Histamine was found to be present in the granule fraction of basophils and was released from basophils in conditions associated with granule lysis. Human basophils were shown to be capable of active movement and were able to phagocytose sensitized group A red cells. The basophils were less active as phagocytes than neutrophils and eosinophils. Granule lysis occurred independantly of phagocytosis in the A anti-A immune system, in human serum absorbed with zymosan, and following the addition to basophils of eosinophil peroxidase.