Laboratory investigation; a journal of technical methods and pathology

Bronchial lesions of mouse model of asthma are preceded by immune complex vasculitis and induced bronchial associated lymphoid tissue (iBALT).

PMID 26006019


We systematically examined by immune histology the lungs of some widely used mouse models of asthma. These models include sensitization by multiple intraperitoneal injections of soluble ovalbumin (OVA) or of OVA with alum, followed by three intranasal or aerosol challenges 3 days apart. Within 24 h after a single challenge there is fibrinoid necrosis of arterial walls with deposition of immunoglobulin (Ig) and OVA and infiltration of eosinophilic polymorphonuclear cells that lasts for about 3 days followed by peribronchial B-cell infiltration and slight reversible goblet cell hypertrophy (GCHT). After two challenges, severe eosinophilic vasculitis is present at 6 h, increases by 72 h, and then declines; B-cell proliferation and significant GCHT and hyperplasia (GCHTH) and bronchial smooth muscle hypertrophy recur more prominently. After three challenges, there is significantly increased induced bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue (iBALT) formation, GCHTH, and smooth muscle hypertrophy. Elevated levels of Th2 cytokines, IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13, are present in bronchial lavage fluids. Sensitized mice have precipitating antibody and positive Arthus skin reactions but also develop significant levels of IgE antibody to OVA but only 1 week after challenge. We conclude that the asthma like lung lesions induced in these models is preceded by immune complex-mediated eosinophilic vasculitis and iBALT formation. There are elevations of Th2 cytokines that most likely produce bronchial lesions that resemble human asthma. However, it is unlikely that mast cell-activated atopic mechanisms are responsible as we found only a few presumed mast cells by toluidine blue and metachromatic staining limited to the most proximal part of the main stem bronchus, and none in the remaining main stem bronchus or in the lung periphery.

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