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Open Access Pulmonary Inflammation and Airway Hyperresponsiveness in a Mouse Model of Asthma Complicated by Acid Aspiration

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Several studies have indicated a strong association between asthma and aspiration of stomach contents. However, the complex association between these inflammatory processes has not been studied extensively in animal models. In the present study, we developed an animal model to evaluate the inflammatory cell, chemokine, and airway responses to asthma complicated by aspiration. The model was produced by sensitizing mice to cockroach allergens from house-dust extracts. Mice with asthma-like airway responses then were inoculated intratracheally with either an acidic solution or saline. Acid aspiration increased airway hyperresponsiveness in mice with asthma for at least 8 h. After 6 h, the combined injury caused an additive, not synergistic, increase in airway hyperresponsiveness and neutrophil recruitment to the airways. Although cysteinyl leukotrienes in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid were higher after acid aspiration, treatment with a receptor antagonist before aspiration did not diminish airway hyperresponsiveness. Vagal mechanisms reportedly mediate airway responses in acid aspiration; however, pretreatment with an anticholinergic agent did not reduce airway responses to acid. These results are consistent with an effective model of the acute effects of aspiration on the allergic lung. Further studies could examine how various forms of aspiration influence the severity of asthma.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine and Department of Pathology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. [email protected] 2: Department of Pathology, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts

Publication date: 2009-08-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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