Asthma is a common syndrome in children and adults. Despite the increasing prevalence and socioeconomic burden, the underlying pathophysiology remains poorly defined in a large percentage of asthmatics. Animal models and, in particular, murine models of allergic airway disease have helped to reveal some of the potential underlying mechanisms and have played an important role in identifying the importance of T cells and TH2 cytokines in development of allergen-induced inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness. In addition, other cell types including mast cells and eosinophils have been implicated in the development of some aspects of the disease. To further understand this complex syndrome, the development of animal models which mimic elements of this chronic airway disease is essential.

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