The dust mite Blomia tropicalis is an important source of aeroallergens in tropical areas. Although a mouse model for B. tropicalis extract (BtE)-induced asthma has been described, no study comparing different mouse strains in this asthma model has been reported. The relevance and reproducibility of experimental animal models of allergy depends on the genetic background of the animal, the molecular composition of the allergen and the experimental protocol.
This work had two objectives. The first was to study the anti-B. tropicalis allergic responses in different mouse strains using a short-term model of respiratory allergy to BtE. This study included the comparison of the allergic responses elicited by BtE with those elicited by ovalbumin in mice of the strain that responded better to BtE sensitization. The second objective was to investigate whether the best responder mouse strain could be used in an experimental model of allergy employing relatively low BtE doses.
Groups of mice of four different syngeneic strains were sensitized subcutaneously with 100 μg of BtE on days 0 and 7 and challenged four times intranasally, at days 8, 10, 12, and 14, with 10 μg of BtE. A/J mice, that were the best responders to BtE sensitization, were used to compare the B. tropicalis-specific asthma experimental model with the conventional experimental model of ovalbumin (OVA)-specific asthma. A/J mice were also sensitized with a lower dose of BtE.
Mice of all strains had lung inflammatory-cell infiltration and increased levels of anti-BtE IgE antibodies, but these responses were significantly more intense in A/J mice than in CBA/J, BALB/c or C57BL/6J mice. Immunization of A/J mice with BtE induced a more intense airway eosinophil influx, higher levels of total IgE, similar airway hyperreactivity to methacholine but less intense mucous production, and lower levels of specific IgE, IgG1 and IgG2 antibodies than sensitization with OVA. Finally, immunization with a relatively low BtE dose (10 μg per subcutaneous injection per mouse) was able to sensitize A/J mice, which were the best responders to high-dose BtE immunization, for the development of allergy-associated immune and lung inflammatory responses.
The described short-term model of BtE-induced allergic lung disease is reproducible in different syngeneic mouse strains, and mice of the A/J strain was the most responsive to it. In addition, it was shown that OVA and BtE induce quantitatively different immune responses in A/J mice and that the experimental model can be set up with low amounts of BtE.