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Toxicology. 2009 May 2;259(1-2):84-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2009.02.007. Epub 2009 Feb 28.

Oropharyngeal aspiration: an alternative route for challenging in a mouse model of chemical-induced asthma.

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Research Unit of Lung Toxicology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Herestraat 49 bus 706, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium.



To assess the importance of the route of challenge in an existing mouse model of chemical-induced asthma, we replaced intranasal instillation by oropharyngeal aspiration. To our knowledge, oropharyngeal aspiration as a challenge route has not yet been investigated in a mouse model of chemical-induced asthma.


On days 1 and 8, mice were dermally sensitized with toluene diisocyanate (TDI) (0.3%) [or vehicle (acetone/olive oil)] and on day 15 they received a single challenge, via oropharyngeal aspiration, with TDI (0.01%) or vehicle. One day after challenge, airway reactivity to methacholine was measured by a forced oscillation technique (FlexiVent) and total and differential cell counts, as well as levels of KC, IL-5, IL-17 and TNF-alpha, were assessed in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid. Lymphocytes from the auricular and mediastinal lymph nodes were cultured to determine the concanavaline A-induced secretion of IL-2, IL-4, IL-10, IL-13, IL-17 and IFN-gamma. Total serum IgE was measured.


In TDI-sensitized mice, a significant increase in airway reactivity was found after a single oropharyngeal challenge with TDI. BAL neutrophils and eosinophils were increased 7- and 5-fold, respectively. An upregulation of Th1 (IFN-gamma), Th2 (IL-4, IL-10, IL-13) and Th17 (IL-17) cytokines was found in the auricular lymph nodes, in the mediastinal lymph nodes only IL-4 was upregulated. The total serum IgE level in TDI-sensitized mice was significantly increased when compared to control mice.


We conclude that challenging mice via oropharyngeal aspiration mimics the characteristics of human asthma well, without the possible drawbacks of other techniques.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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