Localization of DNA and RNA in eosinophil secretory granules

Ali Reza Behzad, David C. Walker, Thomas Abraham, John McDonough, Salahadin Mahmudi-Azer, Fanny Chu, Furquan Shaheen, James C. Hogg, Peter D. Paré

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Although the accepted paradigm is that the proteins stored in eosinophil crystalloid granules are translated from messenger RNA transcribed in the cell nucleus, recent ultrastructural evidence suggests that protein synthesis may also take place within eosinophilic granules. Methods: We used 2 different methods to detect the presence of DNA and RNA in eosinophil secretory granules. Using bromodeoxyuridine, a thymidine analogue, and bromouridine, a uracil analogue, we labeled the DNA and RNA in eosinophils in vivo in rabbits. Immunoelectron microscopy to localize these molecules was performed on ultrathin sections of blood and bone marrow eosinophils using monoclonal anti-bromodeoxyuridine antibody with IgG as a control. The immunogold grain density was measured in each subcellular compartment within the eosinophils and analyzed using image analysis software. A combination of DNA/CD63 immunofluorescence staining and a fluorescently labeled molecular probe that stains RNA was used to examine the presence of DNA and RNA in the secretory granules of human blood eosinophils. Results: The mean density of bromodeoxyuridine-labeled DNA and bromouridine-labeled RNA immunogold grains in the secretory granules of blood and bone marrow eosinophils were significantly higher (p < 0.0005) than cytoplasmic or background staining. We also demonstrated the existence of DNA and RNA in the CD63-positive secretory granules of human peripheral blood eosinophils by means of immunofluorescent staining and a fluorescently labeled molecular probe. Conclusions: These results provide evidence that eosinophil granules are the site of DNA and RNA synthesis and suggest the potential for a new role(s) for eosinophil-secretory granules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-27
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Archives of Allergy and Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010


  • Bromodeoxyuridine
  • Bromouridine
  • Immunogold staining
  • SYTO RNA-select fluorescent dye

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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