Gender comparison in a murine model of allergen-driven airway inflammation and the response to budesonide treatment

BMC Pharmacol. 2004 Apr 15;4:4. doi: 10.1186/1471-2210-4-4.


Background: Evidence suggests that gender differences exist in the severity of many immunological diseases and their response to glucocorticosteroid treatment. In this report, we have used a murine model of ovalbumin-induced lung inflammation to address whether gender could affect the systemic response, airway inflammation and hyperreactivity and their responses to budesonide.

Results: Following an acute ovalbumin challenge, actively sensitised BALB/c mice developed a time-dependent increase in interleukin-4 and interleukin-5 production and inflammatory cell influx into bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Apart from an increased number of lymphocytes in female mice at day 3 post-challenge, none of the above parameters were affected by gender. Blood leukocyte numbers were also unaffected, whereas a two-fold increase in total serum immunoglobulin E was observed in female mice. Budesonide, given intranasally, did not affect the blood parameters, but dose-dependently inhibited the pulmonary inflammation and airway hyperreactivity in both male and female mice. Female mice were slightly less sensitive to budesonide's inhibitory action on interleukin-5 production and the development of airway hyperreactivity.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that, apart from a 2-fold increase in serum immunoglobulin E levels observed in female mice, gender is not a major factor in the present murine model of ovalbumin-induced lung inflammation. In contrast, gender might slightly influence the potency of test compounds such as steroids.

MeSH terms

  • Allergens
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Cell Count
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity / blood
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity / chemically induced
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity / immunology
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity / prevention & control*
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage
  • Budesonide / therapeutic use*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Gender Identity
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Inflammation / chemically induced
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C


  • Allergens
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Budesonide