Eosinophil leukocytes express high numbers of the chemokine receptor CCR3 which binds eotaxin, monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-4, and some other CC chemokines. In this paper we show that CCR3 is also highly expressed on human blood basophils, as indicated by Northern blotting and flow cytometry, and mediates mainly chemotaxis. Eotaxin and MCP-4 elicited basophil migration in vitro with similar efficacy as regulated upon activation normal T cells expressed and secreted (RANTES) and MCP-3. They also induced the release of histamine and leukotrienes in IL-3-primed basophils, but their efficacy was lower than that of MCP-1 and MCP-3, which were the most potent stimuli of exocytosis. Pretreatment of the basophils with a CCR3-blocking antibody abrogated the migration induced by eotaxin, RANTES, and by low to optimal concentrations of MCP-4, but decreased only minimally the response to MCP-3. The CCR3-blocking antibody also affected exocytosis: it abrogated histamine and leukotriene release induced by eotaxin, and partially inhibited the response to RANTES and MCP-4. In contrast, the antibody did not affect the responses induced by MCP-1, MCP-3, and macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha, which may depend on CCR1 and CCR2, two additional receptors detected by Northern blotting with basophil RNA. This study demonstrates that CCR3 is the major receptor for eotaxin, RANTES, and MCP-4 in human basophils, and suggests that basophils and eosinophils, which are the characteristic effector cells of allergic inflammation, depend largely on CCR3 for migration towards different chemokines into inflamed tissues.