Lung responses in murine models of experimental asthma: Value of house dust mite over ovalbumin sensitization

Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 2018 Jan:247:43-51. doi: 10.1016/j.resp.2017.09.001. Epub 2017 Sep 8.


Ovalbumin (OVA) sensitization has limitations in modelling asthma. Thus, we examined the value of allergic sensitization using a purified natural allergen, house dust mite (HDM), over the sensitization performed with OVA. Mice were sham-treated, or sensitized with OVA- or HDM with identical chronology. Airway resistance, tissue damping and elastance were assessed under control conditions and after challenging the animals with methacholine (MCh) and the specific allergen. Inflammatory profile of the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid was characterized and lung histology was performed. While no difference in the lung responsiveness to the specific allergen was noted, hyperresponsiveness to MCh was observed only in the HDM-sensitized animals in the lung peripheral parameters. Lung inflammation differed between the models, but excessive bronchial smooth muscle remodelling occurred only with OVA. In conclusion, we demonstrate that a purified natural allergen offers a more relevant murine model of human allergic asthma by expressing the key features of this chronic inflammatory disease both in the lung function and structure.

Keywords: Airway hyperresponsiveness; Allergen exposure; Animal models; Asthma; Mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Asthma* / pathology
  • Asthma* / physiopathology
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity / pathology
  • Bronchial Hyperreactivity / physiopathology
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / immunology
  • Bronchoconstrictor Agents / pharmacology
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Methacholine Chloride / pharmacology
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Muscle, Smooth / drug effects
  • Muscle, Smooth / pathology
  • Muscle, Smooth / physiopathology
  • Ovalbumin*
  • Pneumonia / pathology
  • Pneumonia / physiopathology
  • Pyroglyphidae*
  • Respiratory Mechanics / immunology


  • Bronchoconstrictor Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Methacholine Chloride
  • Ovalbumin