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Animal models of asthma: Innovative methods of lung research and new pharmacological targets

: Braun, A.; Tschernig, T.


Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology 57 (2006), Suppl.2, S.3-4
ISSN: 0940-2993
Fraunhofer ITEM ()
COPD; animal model; Asthma; Genomics; Proteomics; pharmacology; drug

Allergic diseases like bronchial asthma are increasing in societies with western lifestyle. In the last years substantial progress was made in the understanding of the underlying mechanisms and explanations like the hygiene hypothesis were developed. However the exact mechanisms of the physiological and immunological events in the lung leading to bronchial asthma are still not fully understood. Therefore, animal models of asthma have been established and improved to study the complex cellular interactions in vivo. Since mice became the most frequently used animal species the methods for detecting lung physiology, e.g. lung function measurements were adapted to the small size of the murine lung. Laser-dissection and precision cut lung slices have become common techniques to get a view into distinct lung compartments and cells. In addition genomic and proteomic approaches are now used widely. On the other hand a major conclusion of the workshop stated that more than one species is necessary in research and for pharmacological screening in asthma and COPD. The resulting new understanding in the mechanisms of asthma pathogenesis has lead to a rapid identification of novel pharmaceutical targets for treatment of the disease.