After earlier observations that antibody-dependent, cell-mediated damage to 51Cr-labeled schistosomula can be ablated by pretreatment of a mixed preparation of human peripheral blood leukocytes with an anti-eosinophil serum and complement, we investigated the cytotoxic effects of eosinophil-enriched cell preparations. Preparations containing up to 98.5% eosinophils and devoid of neutrophils were effective in mediating antibody-dependent damage to schistosomula. Preparations enriched in mononuclear cells or in neutrophils, and devoid of eosinophils, were inactive. Eosinophils from some patients with eosinophilia induced by schistosomiasis were less active on a cell-to-cell basis than cells from normal individuals. The possibility that such cells were initially blocked by immune complexes was considered, and it was found that reasonable cytotoxicity by purified eosinophils from patients with eosinophilia could be generated by overnight cultures. A possible requirement for cooperation between eosinophils and other cell types was also studied. Lymphocytes, neutrophils and monocytes failed to enhance eosinophil-mediated cytotoxicity. These results provide further evidence that the eosinophil is the only cell in man responsible for antibody-dependent, complement-independent damage to schistosomula in vitro. Eosinophils from individuals, however, differ in their cytotoxic potential by a mechanism yet to be elucidated. The possible relationship of these findings to immunity in vivo is discussed.

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