Background: The development of occupational asthma is the result of interactions between environmental factors and individual susceptibility. We assessed how our model of chemical-induced asthma is influenced by using different mouse strains.
Methodology/principal findings: On days 1 and 8, male mice of 7 different strains (BALB/c, BP/2, A/J, C57Bl/6, DBA/2, CBA and AKR) were dermally treated with toluene-2,4-diisocyanate (TDI) (0.3%) or vehicle (acetone/olive oil, AOO, 2:3) on each ear (20 microl). On day 15, they received an oropharyngeal instillation of TDI (0.01%) or AOO (1:4). Airway reactivity to methacholine, total and differential cell counts in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and total serum IgE and IgG(2a) levels were measured. Lymphocyte subpopulations in auricular lymph nodes and in vitro release of cytokines by ConA stimulated lymphocytes were assessed. In TDI-sensitized and challenged mice, airway hyper-reactivity was only observed in BALB/c, BP/2, A/J and AKR mice; airway inflammation was most pronounced in BALB/c mice; numbers of T-helper (CD4(+)), T-activated (CD4(+)CD25(+)), T-cytotoxic (CD8(+)) and B- lymphocytes (CD19(+)) were increased in the auricular lymph nodes of BALB/c, BP/2, A/J and CBA mice; elevated concentrations of IL-4, IL-10, IL-13 and IFN-gamma were detected in supernatant of lymphocytes from BALB/c, BP/2, A/J, C57Bl/6 and CBA mice cultured with concanavaline A, along with an increase in total serum IgE.
Conclusion: The used mouse strain has considerable and variable impacts on different aspects of the asthma phenotype. The human phenotypical characteristics of chemically-induced occupational asthma were best reproduced in Th2-biased mice and in particular in BALB/c mice.