We studied dogs neonatally sensitized to ragweed and their littermate controls at 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 15 mo of age. Acute allergic airway response to inhalation of ragweed in the sensitized dogs was marked (greater than 12-fold increase from base line) and reproducible at all times. Nonallergic airway responsiveness, measured as the concentration of acetylcholine required to increase airway resistance by 5 cmH2O.l-1.s (PC5), increased in sensitized and decreased in nonsensitized dogs from 4 to 15 mo of age (P less than 0.01). Before antigen, at 12 and 15 mo, sensitized dogs were significantly (P less than 0.05) more responsive to acetylcholine than controls. Six hours after antigen, sensitized dogs were 11-fold more responsive (P less than 0.005) than controls at those times. More eosinophils and mast cells and fewer macrophages (P less than 0.05) were present in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) from 12- and 15-mo-old sensitized dogs than their controls. BAL fluid histamine was higher (P less than 0.05) in sensitized than control dogs. Regression analysis revealed r = -0.75 (P = 0.003) between BAL mast cells and PC5 in sensitized dogs and R2 = 0.89 for PC5 and BAL mast cells, macrophages, and eosinophils. Neonatally sensitized dogs represent an excellent animal model in which to study the pathophysiology of asthma.
- Copyright © 1989 the American Physiological Society