Human asthma is on the rise worldwide. The necessity to develop effective treatments against it requires an organized effort which covers every aspect of the disease from the pathological alterations via the genetic background to the use and development of active remedies. In these processes animal experiments have served an indispensable role. As asthma is not a natural disease in the animal kingdom the variety for artificially established animal models is quite wide. The possible selection ranges from the laboratory mouse to the horse, it includes ferret and sheep and even favorite pets such as cats and dogs. The large number of the models indicates that to some extent they might not be appropriate or it means that there is no generally accepted model of human asthma. Whatever the reason for this diversity animal models helped us to understand the detailed pathogenesis of some aspects of the disease, they helped us to develop compounds which are more active then previously used ones, and these models proved to us that human asthma is a unique, possibly species-specific disease the eradication of which requires a huge effort. This enormous task should include the collaboration of the clinical and basic research for the development of improved, advanced animal models, which in turn could strengthen our understanding about human asthma.
Keywords: Asthma, allergic reaction, airway hyperresponsiveness, inflammation, remodeling, animal models
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport