The Guinea Pig as an Animal Model for Asthma
Fabio L.M. Ricciardolo, Frans Nijkamp, Virginia De Rose and Gert Folkerts
Affiliation: Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences, Clinic of Pneumology, University of Torino, San Luigi Hospital, Regione Gonzole 10, 10043–Orbassano (Torino), Italy.
Experimental guinea pig asthma is a reliable and clinically relevant facsimile of human disease. The guinea pig is the preferred choice for use as a model of allergic bronchial asthma in the evaluation of anti-asthmatic drugs, since the airway anatomy and the response to inflammatory mediators is similar to humans. Further, the great strength of this model is the direct anaphylactic bronchoconstriction upon antigen challenge. Under certain conditions a late asthmatic response can be measured and airway hyperresponsiveness is observed in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, the inflammatory response is comparable with the human situation. More recent studies describe a chronic model for asthma in which airway remodeling is induced as can be observed in the asthmatic patients. The focus here is to demonstrate that guinea pig asthma models are useful for testing novel therapeutics.
Keywords: Allergy, asthma, guinea pig, early asthmatic reaction, late asthmatic reaction, airway hyperresponsiveness, airway inflammation, airway remodelling
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