Using guinea pigs in studies relevant to asthma and COPD

Pulm Pharmacol Ther. 2008 Oct;21(5):702-20. doi: 10.1016/j.pupt.2008.01.004. Epub 2008 Feb 2.


The guinea pig has been the most commonly used small animal species in preclinical studies related to asthma and COPD. The primary advantages of the guinea pig are the similar potencies and efficacies of agonists and antagonists in human and guinea pig airways and the many similarities in physiological processes, especially airway autonomic control and the response to allergen. The primary disadvantages to using guinea pigs are the lack of transgenic methods, limited numbers of guinea pig strains for comparative studies and a prominent axon reflex that is unlikely to be present in human airways. These attributes and various models developed in guinea pigs are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Asthma / pathology
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / methods
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Humans
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / drug therapy*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / pathology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents