Characterization of a murine model of allergic pulmonary inflammation

Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 1994 Sep;105(1):83-90. doi: 10.1159/000236807.


Pulmonary inflammation with eosinophil (EOs) infiltration is a prominent feature of allergic respiratory diseases such as asthma. In order to study the cellular response during the disease development, an animal model of IgE-mediated pulmonary inflammation with characteristic eosinophilia is needed. We developed a method for inducing severe pulmonary eosinophilia in the mouse and also studied the numbers of EOs in blood and bone marrow and the response to corticosteroid treatment. Animals were sensitized with alum-precipitated ovalbumin (OVA) and challenged with aerosolized OVA 12 days later when serum IgE levels were significantly elevated. Four to eight hours after challenge there were moderate increases in the number of EOs in the bone marrow and peripheral blood, but only a few EOs were observed in the lung tissue and in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid. Twenty-four hours after challenge, there was a marked reduction of EOs in bone marrow, while the number of EOs peaked in the perivascular and peribronchial regions of the lung. Forty-eight hours after challenge, the highest number of EOs was found in the BAL fluid, making up > 80% of all cells in that compartment. The high levels of EOs in the lung tissue and BAL fluid lasted for 2-3 days and was followed by a more moderate but persistent eosinophilia for another 10 days. Nonsensitized animals showed no significant changes in the number of EOs in BAL fluid, lungs, blood or bone marrow. Histopathological evaluation also revealed epithelial damage, excessive mucus in the lumen and edema in the submucosa of the airways.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Asthma / immunology
  • Betamethasone / pharmacology
  • Blood Cells / cytology
  • Bone Marrow Cells
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / cytology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Eosinophils / drug effects
  • Immunization
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Neutrophils / cytology
  • Ovalbumin / immunology
  • Pneumonia / immunology*
  • Pulmonary Eosinophilia / etiology
  • Time Factors


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Ovalbumin
  • Betamethasone