In vivo presentation of airway hyper-responsiveness (AHR) at the different time points of the allergic reaction is not clearly understood. The purpose of this study was to investigate how AHR manifests in the airway and the lung parenchyma in vivo following exposure to different stimuli and in the early and late phases of asthma after allergen exposure. Ovalbumin (OVA)-induced allergic asthma model was established using 6-week female BALB/c mice. Enhanced pause was measured with a non-invasive method to assess AHR. The dynamic changes of the airway and lung parenchyma were evaluated with ultra-high-resolution computed tomography (128 multi-detector, 1024 × 1024 matrix) for 10 h. While the methacholine challenge showed no grossly visible changes in the proximal airway and lung parenchyma despite provoking AHR, the OVA challenge induced significant immediate changes manifesting as peribronchial ground glass opacities, consolidations, air-trapping, and paradoxical proximal airway dilatations. After resolution of immediate response, multiple episodes of AHRs occurred with paradoxical proximal airway dilatation and peripheral air-trapping in late phase over a prolonged time period in vivo. Understanding of airflow limitation based on the structural changes of asthmatic airway would be helpful to make an appropriate drug delivery strategy for the treatment of asthma.
© 2021. The Author(s).