Inhalation of Aspergillus fumigatus spores induces airway inflammation in mice in a similar manner as observed in Recurrent Airway Obstruction in horses

Moran, G.
Ojeda, G.
Diedrichs, K.
Ortloff Trautmann, Alexander
Barria, M.
Folch, H.
Datos de publicación:
The aim of this study was to determine if mice exposed to Aspergillus (A.)fumigatus spores develop airway inflammation in a similar manner to Recurrent Airway Obstruction (RAO) in horses. Different groups of 2-, 5-, 6- and 8-month-old Rockefeller (RK) mice were used throughout the experiment. The mice were maintained in the animal house for 16 days and kept in cages containing hay contaminated with A. fumigants. After 16 days of mold exposure, the mice were bled and sacrificed to obtain bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) or lung tissues for histological analysis. In addition, we measured the levels of A. fumigatus-specific antibodies by ELISA. The results demonstrated that inhalation of A. fumigants spores in mice induced an inflammatory response in the lungs that was characterized by peribronchiolar and perivascular mononuclear infiltration and bronchiolar luminal exudates. Moreover, there was extensive folding of the airway epithelia, which is a sign of airway smooth muscle contraction and smooth muscle hypertrophy. In addition, we observed a high number of neutrophils and an increase in IgE, IgG1 and IgG2a antibodies in the BALF from mice that were older than 5 months and were exposed to A. fumigatus. These animals recovered from their respiratory distress when they were placed in a remission environment. We conclude that simple exposure of mice to moldy hay induces a condition that is similar to RAO in horses. Therefore, using this mouse model for the study of equine RAO offers the opportunity to approximate the immunologic response to airborne irritants and allergens as well as to evaluate pharmacological therapies.