what are basophils

Basophils are a type of white blood cells. Basophils are the least common of the granulocytes, representing about 0.5 to 1% of circulating white blood cells

However, they are the largest type of granulocyte. They are responsible for inflammatory reactions during immune response, as well as in the formation of acute and chronic allergic diseases, including anaphylaxis, asthma, atopic dermatitis and hay fever

They can perform phagocytosis (cell eating), produce histamine and serotonin that induce inflammation, and heparin that prevents blood clotting. It used to be thought that basophils that have migrated from blood into their resident tissues (connective tissue) are known as mast cells, but this is no longer thought to be the case