Rodents do not spontaneously develop asthma. An artificial challenge model thus has to be used to induce allergic-like responses in mice or rats. Ovalbumin-induced acute allergic asthma in mouse or rat is a very well-characterized model, which can be used to study immunologic and inflammatory pathomechanisms.
The acute allergen challenge involves repeated exposure to ovalbumin for a period of four or five weeks in mice or two or three weeks in rats (several protocols available, depending on endpoints). This exposure treatment has been shown to reproduce hallmarks of human asthma, including Th2-driven allergic inflammation with influx of eosinophils, and a pronounced early airway response (EAR) and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR). We have excellent expertise in inhalation of substances and lung function measurements.