To clarify the relationship between the manifestations of allergic airway inflammation modulated by diesel exhaust particles (DEP) and immunoglobulin production in response to an antigen, airway inflammation characterized by the infiltration of eosinophils, goblet cell proliferation, and antigen-specific immunoglobulin (Ig) production was investigated in five strains of mice after immunization with ovalbumin (OA). Mice were injected intratracheally with OA (1 microg) or OA (1 microg) + DEP (50 microg) four times at 3-week intervals. The order of antigen-specific IgG1 production in plasma of mouse strains treated with OA alone was CBA/2N <BDF/1 <C57BL/6 < ICR <C3H/He. The adjuvant effect of DEP on IgG1 production was observed in CBA/2N, BDF/1, ICR, and C57BL/6 mice. The immune activity in BDF/1 mice was significantly elevated (P < 0.01). The OA-specific IgE in plasma was unaffected by antigen challenge with or without DEP in any strain. The degree of eosinophilic inflammation and goblet cell proliferation in the airway induced by OA alone or OA + DEP corresponded well with the antigen-specific IgG1 production. These results suggest that the manifestations of allergic airway inflammation modulated by DEP were closely related to the immunoglobulin production response to OA, especially with regard to enhanced IgG1 production.