The marked diminution in the number of circulating eosinophils, which has been shown to occur during acute bacterial infections, is a distinctive aspect of eosinophil physiology and of the host response to acute infection. The mouse rendered eosinophilic by infection with trichinosis provides a suitable model for study of the eosinopenic response induced by acute inflammation. The alterations in eosinophil dynamics associated with acute inflammatory reactions in trichinous mice were studied with pneumococcal abscesses, with Escherichia coli pyelonephritis, with Coxsackie viral pancreatitis, and with acute subcutaneous inflammation due to turpentine. Each of these stimuli of acute inflammation markedly suppressed the eosinophilia of trichinosis. This suggests that the eosinopenia is a response to the acute inflammatory process rather than the response to a specific type of pathogen. These studies apply quantitative techniques to ascertain the effects of acute inflammation on eosinophil production in bone marrow and on distribution of eosinophils in the peripheral tissues. From these observations, it is apparent that the initial response to acute inflammation includes a rapid drop in numbers of circulating eosinophils, a rapid accumulation of eosinophils at the periphery of the inflammatory site, and an inhibition of egress of eosinophils from the bone marrow. With prolongation of the inflammatory process, inhibition of eosinopoiesis occurs.
D A Bass