The feedback from low eosinophils it is normally linked to a state of immunosuppression, that is to a reduction in the functionality of the immune system. The most frequent causes of low eosinophilic granulocytes are using medications (cortisone or chemotherapy drugs above all) or the presence of pathologies al bone marrow.
The exophinophiles they are gods White blood cells, and represent one of the three main types of granulocytes, together with granulocifi basophils and neutrophils. The name derives from the different behavior of their nuclei to the coloring with various substances. A match by low eosinophils it is not uncommon, and in most cases it indicates nothing of concern. In less frequent cases, it can be a sign of an immune system problem.
Low eosinophils are spoken of when less than 350 are found granulocytes eosinophils per microliter of blood (<350 el / µl).
What are eosinophils
THE White blood cells they are fundamental components of our body's immune system. They are essential to protect us from the onslaught of bacteria, parasites and other microorganisms.
There are five different types of white blood cells, which are produced in the bone marrow and released into the bloodstream.
Each white blood cell has a lifespan ranging from a few hours to about two weeks. At the end of their life they are captured by the endothelial reticulum or by other cells with phagocytic capacity, and then replaced by new cells introduced by the marrow.
Eosinophils are white blood cells, and they are also called eosinophilic granulocytes since they contain granules inside the cytoplasm (the liquid that makes up a large part of the cell), and these granules are strongly stained with a dye based on hematoxylin and eosin.
Eosinophils account for approximately 3-4% of total leukocytes (white blood cells). They have a round shape and a nucleus formed by two lobes connected to each other by a thin filament of chromatin, so much so that they look like two lenses of a pair of glasses.
Eosinophilic granulocytes have receptors on the membrane that recognize immunoglobulins E (IgE). A increased eosinophils occurs in numerous conditions, including allergic reactions, infections with bacteria, parasites, helmites (worms), autoimmune diseases, collagenopathies and neurological diseases. Furthermore, an alteration in the eosinophilic granulocyte count can also be found due to a variation in their values from day to night, in the different seasons and months of the year, and in the different phases of the menstrual cycle in women.
THE granulocytes they contain in their cytoplasm many enzymes, most of the ones qualified for the anti-parasite response are allergic. Among the main enzymes we remember eosinophilic peroxidase, eosinophilic phospholipase, eosinophilic cationic protein, as well as enzymes called histaminases because they are able to degrade histamine, a substance released during allergic reactions.
THE eosinophilic granulocytes they are produced in the bone marrow from stem cells called myeloid cells, which are the same precursor cells that then give rise to other circulating cells such as granulocytes, platelets and erythrocytes, ie red blood cells. The eosinophilic cell is produced thanks to a process called granulocytopoiesis.
Once produced, eosinophils are released into the blood, where they circulate for about 8-10 hours. Then they migrate into the connective tissues where they remain for another 1-2 weeks, carrying out functions related to the protection of the organism from infections, releasing substances involved in inflammatory processes, and producing mediators involved in the development of allergic reactions.
Furthermore, eosinophils can produce leukotrienes which are substances involved in the pathophysiological process of development of asthma participating in the bronchoconstriction and increased secretion mucosa that occurs during an asthmatic attack.
Low Eosinophils Causes
There are many causes that can contribute to the reduction of eosinophilic counts (eosinophilopenia). First you need to investigate the therapies and drugs that you are taking or have taken in the weeks prior to the collection.
Drugs or substances that can alter eosinophil values in the blood are:
- interferon: it is an immunomodulating drug, that is, it can activate or suppress the immune system depending on the time and the person in which it is used. In some cases, it can therefore reduce the eosinophil count.
- alcohol: Alcohol intoxication can temporarily reduce eosinophilic granulocytes
- antihistamines: they reduce the production of histamine and can prune to the collateral finding of low eosinophils
- cortisone: cortisone (Bentelan, Deltacortene are some of the most used cortisone-containing drugs) is an anti-inflammatory and a powerful immunosuppressant. Cortisone therefore reduces the immune defenses, thus also helping a potential decrease in eosinophilic granulocytes.
- Chemotherapy: the toxic effect of chemotherapy drugs can unfortunately also affect body cells, in addition to tumor cells. This is the price to pay for effective cancer action. If the bone marrow is also affected, there will be a reduction in circulating blood cells, with the point of maximum reduction called nadir. This effect is usually transient and returns to full function within a few weeks.
Others causes of low eosinophils I'm:
- Recent radiotherapy: it can lead to a depression of the bone marrow function, due to a direct damage of the ionizing rays used during the radiation therapy sessions: consequently, there may be a decrease in the production of eosinophils.
- Bacterial infections: Many diseases caused by bacteria can temporarily reduce the number of circulating eosinophils. An example among all is typhus, a disease caused by salmonella typhi and unfortunately still very widespread in developing countries;
- Stress: the presence of stress, which can be secondary to either psychic fatigue (work, family situations, recent deaths) or physical fatigue (above average physical activity you are used to, extreme efforts such as marathon or triathlon), can reduce the immune defenses, and consequently also temporarily affect the production of eosinophils.
- Agranulocytosis: it is a condition that sees the reduction or absence of production of all granulocytic cells, including eosinophilic granulocytes. It can be secondary to causes already mentioned above, such as massive cortisone therapy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, or bone marrow pathologies;
- Diseases or malfunctions of the immune system: some diseases of the immune system, such as congenital or acquired immunodeficiency syndromes (HIV the most famous), can affect the number and function of eosinophilic granulocytes.
Low eosinophils symptoms
The most common symptoms of low eosinophils are those related to the pathology underlying this biohumoral finding. Let's see the most common ones together symptoms of low eosinophilic granulocytes.
- Temperature: in the presence of infections and concomitant lowering of eosinophils, fever is the most frequent sign.
- Ease of getting sick: the person who was once defined as "sickly health", in reality could be suffering from some disorder of the hematopoietic system, up to the real agranulocytosis, with reduction of erythrocytes (low red blood cells and low hemoglobin, anemia), white blood cells (low white blood cells or low leukocytes, leukopenia) with lymphopenia (low lymphocytes) and low granulocytes (neutropenia, eosinopenia is basophylopenia). This predisposes to bacterial, viral and fungal infections. In case of frequent infections with low eosinophils, the picture should be investigated as thoroughly as possible.
- Asthenia: asthenia is nothing but tiredness, which is frequent when you are in stressful situations.