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Open Access Research article

Gender comparison in a murine model of allergen-driven airway inflammation and the response to budesonide treatment

Randolph Corteling and Alexandre Trifilieff*

Author Affiliations

Respiratory Diseases Area, Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research, Horsham, UK

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BMC Pharmacology 2004, 4:4  doi:10.1186/1471-2210-4-4

Published: 15 April 2004



Evidence suggests that gender differences exist in the severity of many immunological diseases and their response to glucocorticosteroid treatment. In this report, we have used a murine model of ovalbumin-induced lung inflammation to address whether gender could affect the systemic response, airway inflammation and hyperreactivity and their responses to budesonide.


Following an acute ovalbumin challenge, actively sensitised BALB/c mice developed a time-dependent increase in interleukin-4 and interleukin-5 production and inflammatory cell influx into bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Apart from an increased number of lymphocytes in female mice at day 3 post-challenge, none of the above parameters were affected by gender. Blood leukocyte numbers were also unaffected, whereas a two-fold increase in total serum immunoglobulin E was observed in female mice. Budesonide, given intranasally, did not affect the blood parameters, but dose-dependently inhibited the pulmonary inflammation and airway hyperreactivity in both male and female mice. Female mice were slightly less sensitive to budesonide's inhibitory action on interleukin-5 production and the development of airway hyperreactivity.


Our results suggest that, apart from a 2-fold increase in serum immunoglobulin E levels observed in female mice, gender is not a major factor in the present murine model of ovalbumin-induced lung inflammation. In contrast, gender might slightly influence the potency of test compounds such as steroids.