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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006 Jul;118(1):91-7. Epub 2006 Apr 27.

The course of allergen-induced leukocyte infiltration in human and experimental asthma.

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Department of Pneumology, Clinic of Internal Medicine, University of Rostock, Ernst-Heydemann-Strasse 6, 18057 Rostock, Germany.



Although the timing of allergen-induced bronchoconstriction is well defined, there is little information about the kinetics of allergen-induced leukocyte infiltration in asthma and its comparability between human and animal models of asthma.


To investigate systematically allergen-induced leukocyte infiltration into the airway lumen in human and experimental asthma by using bronchoalveolar lavage.


Patients with allergic asthma were lavaged at different time points as long as 1 week after segmental allergen challenge. Allergen-sensitized mice were lavaged as long as 3 weeks after allergen challenge. Differential cell counts, lymphocyte subsets, and cytokines were assessed in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid.


In both models, neutrophil infiltration was a relatively early event (maximum: 18 hours after challenge). In contrast, eosinophil infiltration peaked 42 hours (human model) to 4 days (mouse model) after allergen challenge, paralleled by an IL-5 peak in this period. There were elevated macrophage counts over a period of several days after allergen challenge in both models. Lymphocytes (predominantly CD4+ T cells) peaked 18 hours after challenge in the human model, but not until 2 weeks after challenge in the murine model.


Early neutrophil accumulation (within hours after challenge) and delayed eosinophil accumulation (within days after challenge) in the airway lumen are common features of allergen-induced airway inflammation, whereas lymphocyte kinetics are dependent on the asthma model.


Similarities in the infiltration kinetics of granulocytes after allergen challenge suggest a common role for these cells in asthma, whereas the presumed orchestration of allergic inflammation by lymphocytes appears to differ between the models.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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