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Curr Protoc Mouse Biol. 2016 Jun 1;6(2):169-84. doi: 10.1002/cpmo.4.

Mouse Models of Asthma.

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Laboratory of Immunoregulation and Mucosal Immunology, VIB Inflammation Research Center, Ghent, Belgium.
Department of Internal Medicine, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.


Allergic asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the conducting airways characterized by the presence of allergen-specific IgE, Th2 cytokine production, eosinophilic airway inflammation, bronchial hyperreactivity, mucus overproduction, and structural changes in the airways. Investigators have tried to mimic these features of human allergic asthma in murine models. Whereas the surrogate allergen ovalbumin has been extremely valuable for unravelling underlying mechanisms of the disease, murine asthma models depend nowadays on naturally occurring allergens, such as house dust mite (HDM), cockroach, and Alternaria alternata. Here we describe a physiologically relevant model of acute allergic asthma based on sensitization and challenge with HDM extracts, and compare it with the ovalbumin/alum-induced asthma model. Moreover, we propose a detailed readout of the asthma phenotype, determining the degree of eosinophilia in bronchoalveolar lavage fluids by flow cytometry, visualizing goblet cell metaplasia, and measuring Th cytokine production by lung-draining mediastinal lymph node cells restimulated with HDM.


allergic asthma; bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL); goblet cell hyperplasia; house dust mite (HDM); mediastinal lymph nodes (MLNs); murine model; ovalbumin (OVA)

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