Primate Models of Allergic Asthma

Charles G. Plopper, Suzette M. Smiley-Jewell, Lisa A. Miller, Michelle V. Fanucchi, Michael J. Evans, Alan R. Buckpitt, Mark V. Avdalovic, Laurel J. Gershwin, Jesse P. Joad, Radhika Kajekar, Shawnessy D. Larson, Kent E. Pinkerton, Laura S Van Winkle, Edward S. Schelegle, Emily M. Pieczarka, Reen Wu, Dallas Melvin Hyde

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


A number of different species of nonhuman primates, primarily macaque monkeys such as the rhesus monkey, have been used as experimental models of allergic airways disease because (i) all the epithelial and mesenchymal components of the walls of intrapulmonary and extrapulmonary conducting airways that are altered in human asthmatics are present in the lungs of adult macaque monkeys; (ii) a significant portion of lung development (which includes differentiation of these components) occurs postnatally in macaque monkeys as it does in humans; (iii) the principal immunologic, pathophysiologic, and histopathologic features of human asthma are found in the chronic experimental disease in macaque monkeys; and (iv) the response to inhaled allergen challenge also shares the same features in human asthmatics and macaque monkeys with chronic allergic airways disease. Among these shared features are positive skin test to allergen, allergen-specific circulating IgE, specific airway responsiveness to allergen as indicated by pulmonary function tests during allergen challenge, shedding of airway epithelial cells into the airway exudate, increased levels of eosinophils and IgE-positivecells in the airway exudate, increased levels of mucins in the airway exudate, nonspecific airway hyperresponsiveness to methacholine or histamine challenge which is elevated by allergen challenge, mucous cell hyperplasia in conducting airways, increased basement membrane zone thickness, subepithelial fibrosis, and migratory leukocyte (eosinophils, lymphocytes, and dendritic cells) accumulation in the airway wall and lumen. The majority of these features are enhanced or altered by exposure to oxidant air pollutants, especially when exposure occurs during postnatal development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAllergy and Allergic Diseases, Second Edition
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9781405157209
StatePublished - Feb 10 2009


  • Epithelial-mesenchymal trophic unit (EMTU)
  • Experimental model for environmental postnatal airways disease
  • Nonhuman primates as models for allergic airways disease
  • Postnatal development
  • Response of rhesus monkeys to exposure
  • Species differences in tracheobronchial airways in adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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