Ovalbumin-induced acute allergic asthma in mouse or rat

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.


Readout parameters

  • In-life assessment of lung function: early airway response (EAR) – airway response to allergen exposure; airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) – airway response to methacholine exposure
  • Bronchoalveolar lavage: total and differential cell counts by flow cytometry, cytokine levels by ELISA or MSD
  • Histology imaging: conventional stainings, histopathology, immunohistochemistry, and pathology scoring 
  • Lung tissue analysis: RNA isolation for gene expression analysis, cytokine levels by ELISA or MSD


  1. Hoymann HG and Heinrich U. Measurement of lung function in rodents in vivo. In: Methods in pulmonary research. Uhlig S and Taylor AE (eds.). Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 1998, 1-28.
  2. Glaab T, Hoymann HG, Hohlfeld J, Korolewitz R, Hecht M, Alarie Y, Tschernig T, Braun A, Krug N, and Fabel H. Noninvasive measurement of midexpiratory flow indicates bronchoconstriction in allergic rats. Journal of Applied Physiology 93 (2002): 1208.
  3. Glaab T, Hoymann HG, Hecht M, Korolewitz R, Tschernig T, Hohlfeld J, Krug N, and Braun A. Effect of anti-nerve growth factor on early and late airway responses in allergic rats. Allergy 58 (2003): 900-904.
  4. Duechs MJ, Hahn C, Benediktus E, Werner-Klein M, Braun A, Hoymann HG, Gantner F, Erb KJ. TLR agonist mediated suppression of allergic responses is associated with increased innate inflammation in the airways. Pulm Pharmacol Ther 24 (2011): 203-214.
  5. Rückert R, Brandt K, Braun A, Hoymann HG, Herz U, Budagian V, Dürkop H, Renz H, Bulfone-Paus S. Blocking IL-15 prevents the induction of allergen-specific T-cells and allergic inflammation in vivo. J Immunol 174 (2005), No. 9: 5507-5515.
  6. Weigt H et al. Efficacy of macrophage-activating lipopeptide-2 combined with interferon-γ in a murine asthma model. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 172 (2005): 566–572.
  7. Hoymann HG. Appraisal of state-of-the-art: invasive and noninvasive lung function measurements in rodents. Journal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods 55 (2007), No. 1: 16-26.
  8. Winkler C, Bahlmann O, Viereck J, Knudsen L, Wedekind D, Hoymann HG, Madsen J, Thum T, Hohlfeld JM, Ochs M. Impact of a Met(11)Thr single nucleotide polymorphism of surfactant protein D on allergic airway inflammation in a murine asthma model. Exp Lung Res 40 (2014), No. 4: 154-163.


Christina Hesse

Contact Press / Media

Dr. Christina Hesse

Manager of the Working Group on Respiratory Pharmacology

Phone +49 511 5350-421