In vivo animal models can offer valuable information on several aspects of asthma pathogenesis and treatment. The mouse is increasingly used in these models, mainly because this species allows for the application in vivo of a broad range of immunological tools, including gene deletion technology. Mice, therefore, seem particularly useful to further elucidate factors influencing the response to inhaled allergens. Examples include: the role of immunoregulatory mechanisms that protect against T-helper cell type 2 cell development; the trafficking of T-cells; and the contribution of the innate immunity. However, as for other animal species, murine models also have limitations. Mice do not spontaneously develop asthma and no model mimics the entire asthma phenotype. Instead, mice should be used to model specific traits of the human disease. The present task force report draws attention to specific aspects of lung structure and function that need to be borne in mind when developing such models and interpreting the results. In particular, efforts should be made to develop models that mimic the lung function changes characteristic of asthma as closely as possible. A large section of this report is therefore devoted to an overview of airway function and its measurement in mice.