Asthma is a complex and heterogeneous inflammatory airway disease primarily characterized by airway obstruction, which affects up to 15% of the population in Westernized countries with an increasing prevalence. Descriptive laboratory and clinical studies reveal that allergic asthma is due to an immunological inflammatory response and is significantly influenced by an individual’s genetic background and environmental factors. Due to the limitations associated with human experiments and tissue isolation, direct mouse models of asthma provide important insights into the disease pathogenesis and in the discovery of novel therapeutics. A wide range of asthma models are currently available, and the correct model system for a given experimental question needs to be carefully chosen. Despite recent advances in the complexity of murine asthma models, for example humanized murine models and the use of clinically relevant allergens, the limitations of the murine system should always be acknowledged, and it remains to be seen if any single murine model can accurately replicate all the clinical features associated with human asthmatic disease.
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