Therefore, an increasing number of studies address sex-specific problems related to allergy and asthma aetiology CT99021 ic50 [3, 5–7]. Thus, experimental studies should include both sexes to better reflect the human situation. In humans, it is further known that allergy and asthma prevalence in males and females differ depending on age; boys have higher disease prevalence compared with girls, but this is reversed after puberty [3, 8, 9].
It has rarely been considered how age influences the allergic immune response in experimental models. Generally, 6- to 10-week-old mice are used, but an increasing number of studies investigate allergy in younger mice, particularly in relation to prenatal exposure
[10–12]. As allergic diseases and asthma often occur in early childhood, research in developmental immunology requires specific experimental models to mimic this period of life. The effect of sex, to a lesser extent age, and very rarely a combination of these factors, has been addressed in experimental studies of allergy. Therefore, it was the aim of the presented studies to describe sex- and age-related effects on allergy outcomes in two murine models. The age groups were selected to cover an age span that may be used in allergy models. In a first study, we investigated Selleckchem ABT737 how the intraperitoneal (i.p.) immunization dose affected allergy outcomes after airway challenges in juveniles, adolescent and fully mature female and male mice. Such i.p. sensitization followed by airway challenges is widely used in experimental research. In a second study, a more realistic route of sensitization was used; female and male mice of the same age groups as used in the previous study were sensitized and challenged by intranasal (i.n.) allergen exposures only. In both models, allergen-specific antibodies in serum, cytokine release from all airway-draining lymph nodes and airway inflammation were used as end
points relevant for experimental allergy. Mice. Age-matched inbred NIH/OlaHsd female and male mice (Harlan Ltd, Blackthorn, UK) were acclimatized for at least 2 weeks. For the 1-week-old groups, newborn mice were obtained for different experiments either by in-house mating or from time-mated females obtained from the breeder. To avoid litter effects, littermates were marked and allocated to different immunization groups. Offspring were weaned at 3 weeks of age and housed 2–3 mice per cage. Males more than 9 weeks old (or if necessary younger) were housed individually to avoid fighting. Mice were provided tap water and standard laboratory chow ad libitum. The mice were exposed to a 12-h light/dark cycle (30–60 lux in cages), regulated room temperature (20 ± 2 °C) and 40–60% relative humidity.