House dust mite facilitates ovalbumin-specific allergic sensitization and airway inflammation

Ramzi Fattouh, Mahmoud A. Pouladi, David Alvarez, Jill R. Johnson, Tina D. Walker, Susanna Goncharova, Mark D. Inman, Manel Jordana*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rationale: Mouse models of allergic airway disease have greatly contributed to our understanding of disease induction and pathogenesis. Although these models typically investigate responses to a single antigen or allergen, humans are frequently exposed to a myriad of allergens, each with distinct antigenic potential. Objectives: Given that airway exposure to ovalbumin (OVA), a prototypic innocuous antigen, induces inhalation tolerance, we wished to investigate how this response would be altered if OVA were encountered concurrently with a house dust mite extract (HDM), which we have recently shown is capable of eliciting a robust allergic airway inflammatory response that is mediated, at least in part, by granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor. Methods: Balb/c mice were exposed daily to HDM (intranasally) followed immediately by exposure to aerosolized OVA for 5 weeks. To allow the inflammatory response elicited by HDM to subside fully, mice were then allowed to rest, unexposed, for 8 weeks, at which time they were rechallenged with aerosolized OVA for 3 consecutive days. Measurements and Main Results: At this time, we observed a robust eosinophilic inflammatory response in the lung that was associated with an increase in bronchial hyperreactivity. Moreover, we documented significantly elevated serum levels of OVA-specific IgE and IgG 1 and increased production of the Th2 cytokines interleukin 4 (1L-4), 1L-5, and IL-13 by splenocytes stimulated in vitro with OVA. Conclusion: Our data demonstrate the potential of a potent allergen such as HDM to establish a lung microenvironment that fosters the development of allergic sensitization to otherwise weak or innocuous antigens, such as OVA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-321
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2005


  • Allergic sensitization
  • Allergy inflammation
  • Lung
  • Mouse


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