Eosinophils are the source of various immunoregulatory cytokines, but the membrane molecules involved in their secretion have not been clearly identified. Here we show that peripheral blood eosinophils from hypereosinophilic patients could express membrane CD86 but not CD80. The T cell costimulatory molecule CD28 is also detected on the eosinophil surface. CD28 ligation but not CD86 ligation resulted in interleukin (IL)-2 and interferon (IFN)-gamma secretion by eosinophils, whereas IL-4, IL-5, and IL-10 were not detected. In contrast to T cells requiring two signals for effective stimulation, CD28 ligation alone was sufficient for optimal eosinophil activation. Eosinophil-derived IL-2 and IFN-gamma were biologically active, as supernatants from anti-CD28-treated cells were able to induce CTLL-2 proliferation and major histocompatibility complex class II expression on the colon carcinoma cell line Colo 205, respectively. Addition of secretory immunoglobulin (Ig)A-anti-IgA complexes, which could induce the release of IL-10, very significantly inhibited both CD28-mediated IL-2 and IFN-gamma release. These results suggest that the release of type 1 (IFN-gamma and IL-2) versus type 2 cytokines by eosinophils is not only differential but also dependent on cross-regulatory signals. They confirm that through activation of costimulatory molecules, eosinophils could function as an immunoregulatory cell involved in the release of both type 1 and type 2 cytokines.