Purpose: Simple and reliable animal models of human diseases contribute to the understanding of disease pathogenesis as well as the development of therapeutic interventions. Although several murine models to mimic human asthma have been established, most of them require anesthesia, resulting in variability among test individuals, and do not mimic asthmatic responses accompanied by T-helper (Th) 17 and neutrophils. As dendritic cells (DCs) are known to play an important role in initiating and maintaining asthmatic inflammation, we developed an asthma model via adoptive transfer of allergen-loaded DCs. Methods: Ovalbumin (OVA)-loaded bone marrow-derived DCs (BMDCs) (OVA-BMDCs) were injected intravenously 3 times into non-anesthetized C57BL/6 mice after intraperitoneal OVA-sensitization. Results: OVA-BMDC-transferred mice developed severe asthmatic immune responses when compared with mice receiving conventional OVA challenge intranasally. Notably, remarkable increases in systemic immunoglobulin (Ig) E and IgG1 responses, Th2/Th17-associated cytokines (interleukin [IL]-5, IL-13 and IL-17), Th2/Th17-skewed T-cell responses, and cellular components, including eosinophils, neutrophils, and goblet cells, were observed in the lungs of OVA-BMDC-transferred mice. Moreover, the asthmatic immune responses and severity of inflammation were correlated with the number of OVA-BMDCs transferred, indicating that the disease severity and asthma type may be adjusted according to the experimental purpose by this method. Furthermore, this model exhibited less variation among the test individuals than the conventional model. In addition, this DCs-based asthma model was partially resistant to steroid treatment. Conclusions: A reliable murine model of asthma by intravenous (i.v.) transfer of OVA-BMDCs was successfully established without anesthesia. This model more accurately reflects heterogeneous human asthma, exhibiting a robust Th2/Th17-skewed response and eosinophilic/neutrophilic infiltration with good reproducibility and low variation among individuals. This model will be useful for understanding the pathogenesis of asthma and would serve as an alternative tool for immunological studies on the function of DCs, T-cell responses and new drugs.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Global Research Laboratory (GRL) Program (2016K1A1A2910779) and the Basic Science Research Program (2018R1C1B6007431) of the National Research Foundation funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT (Information and Communication Technologies), Republic of Korea. There are no financial or other issues that might lead to conflict of interest.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine