The enigmatic eosinophil has emerged as an exciting component of the immune system, involved in a plethora of homeostatic and inflammatory responses. Substantial progress has been achieved through experimental systems manipulating eosinophils in vivo, initially in mice and more recently in humans. Eosinophil knockout mice have identified a contributory role for eosinophils in basal and inflammatory processes and protective immunity. Primarily fueled by the purported proinflammatory role of eosinophils in eosinophil-associated diseases, a series of anti-eosinophil therapeutics have emerged as a new class of drugs. These agents, which dramatically deplete eosinophils, provide a valuable opportunity to characterize the consequences of eosinophil knockout humans. Herein, we comparatively describe mouse and human eosinophil knockouts. We put forth the view that human eosinophils negatively contribute to a variety of diseases and, unlike mouse eosinophils, do not yet have an identified role in physiological health; thus, clarifying all roles of eosinophils remains an ongoing pursuit. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Immunology, Volume 39 is April 2021. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.
Annu Rev Immunol