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What Is a Basophil?

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Updated February 22, 2010

Definition: Basophils are part of your immune system that normally protects your body from infection, but can also be partly responsible for your asthma symptoms. Basophils are a type of white blood cell that are involved in inflammatory reactions in your body, especially those related to allergies and asthma. When stimulated, basophils release histamine and other enzymes that can lead to inflammation, bronchoconstriction, and asthma symptoms.

When you are exposed to allergens such as molds or animal dander, an IgE antibody binds to the allergen and stimulates the basophils to release histamine. Classic asthma symptoms follow the release of histamine.

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