We have previously reported that intratracheal instillation of diesel exhaust particles (DEP) enhances allergen-induced eosinophilic airway inflammation, local expression of interleukin-5 and granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor, and allergen-specific production of IgE and IgG in mice. The present study was undertaken to elucidate the effects of DEP on airway hyperresponsiveness as another characteristic feature of allergic asthma. The animals were randomized into four experimental groups that received intratracheal instillation with vehicle, ovalbumin (OVA), DEP, or the combination of OVA and DEP on a weekly basis for 6 weeks. Respiratory resistance (Rrs) was measured 24 h after the last instillation. An increase in Rrs in animals that inhaled acetylcholine was significantly greater in the combined treatment with OVA and DEP than in the other treatments. The present study indicates that DEP can enhance airway responsiveness associated with allergen exposure, and provides experimental evidence that DEP may deteriorate the pathophysiology of allergen-related respiratory disease such as allergic asthma.