Human eosinophils and mast cells: Birds of a feather flock together

Piper A. Robida, Pier Giorgio Puzzovio, Hadas Pahima, Francesca Levi-Schaffer, Bruce S. Bochner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


While the origin of the phrase “birds of a feather flock together” is unclear, it has been in use for centuries and is typically employed to describe the phenomenon that people with similar tastes or interests tend to seek each other out and congregate together. In this review, we have co-opted this phrase to compare innate immune cells of related origin, the eosinophil and mast cell, because they very often accumulate together in tissue sites under both homeostatic and inflammatory conditions. To highlight overlapping yet distinct features, their hematopoietic development, cell surface phenotype, mediator release profiles and roles in diseases have been compared and contrasted. What emerges is a sense that these two cell types often interact with each other and their tissue environment to provide synergistic contributions to a variety of normal and pathologic immune responses.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)151-167
Number of pages17
JournalImmunological Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd


  • cytokines
  • eosinophils
  • homeostasis
  • inflammation
  • lineage
  • mast cells
  • mediators
  • receptors


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