Asthma & Allergic Rhinitis

LRRI offers the beagle dog model of asthma, allergic rhinitis, and allergic dermatitis for studies of drug efficacy and pharmacology. Dogs treated with ragweed or house dust mite extract develop sensitive airways that reversibly constrict. Dogs maintain allergic response over time after repeated exposures to ragweed. Sensitized dogs also develop inflammatory and other allergic responses in the lung (elevated total and specific IgE, eosinophils, airway remodeling). 


​Some common asthma medications such as albuterol and inhaled steroids effectively relieve the airway constriction caused by a ragweed exposure. Acoustic rhinometry can assess nasal obstruction in the dog model after a challenge of ragweed. Allergy drugs such as d-pseudoephedrine block ragweed-induced nasal congestion.

Characteristics of Our Dog Model:

  • Natural development of allergic disease
  • Sensitization of ragweed and dust mites
  • IgE-mediated sensitivity
  • Immediate airway responses to allergen
  • Chronic inflammation - airway remodeling
  • Localized immune response in the lung

Experimental Capabilities:

  • Eosinophils:  Effects of anti-inflammatory drugs on recruitment and activation of eosinophils
  • Cytokines/chemokines:  gene expression and protein levels in lung fluid cells
  • Mediators:  PGD2, PGE2, histamine, leukotrienes in nasal lavage fluid
  • Total IgE and allergen-specific IgE and IgG (IgG1, IgG2, IgG3, and IgG4) in serum and lavage fluid; total protein in lavage fluid and serum
  • FACS Analysis:  Phenotypic analysis of lavage cells
  • Airway Mucus:  Levels of mucus in lavage fluids
  • Pathology:  Lung lavage cytology and lung histopathology; identification of lung cells by immunohistochemistry and immunocytochemistry
  • Aerosol Science:  Generation and evaluation of aerodynamic size of allergens; deposition in and clearance from the lung
  • Pulmonary Physiology:  Measurement of pulmonary resistance and dynamic compliance after challenge with allergen or nonspecific stimuli (histamine or methacholine)
  • Acoustic Rhinometry:  Assessment of nasal obstruction and drug-induced nasal decongestion following nasal allergen challenge
  • Nasal Lavages:  Cytology after allergen challenge