Pulmonary Function

There is increasing interest in the use of genetically engineered mice in inhalation toxicology studies involving host variables, including genetics, age, diet, and disease.28 This interest derives from epidemiology that suggests an association with air pollution-related human mortality/morbidity, especially among individuals with cardiopulmonary disease. Several mouse models with genetically based cardiopulmonary diseases are now being incorporated into inhalation toxicology studies to investigate mechanisms that underlie host susceptibility. Current evidence indicates that mouse models of pulmonary hypertension, bronchitis, asthma, and cardiovascular disease, but not emphysema, appear to exhibit greater susceptibility to air pollution particulate matter. As in humans, host susceptibility appears to involve multiple genetic and environmental factors, but is poorly understood. As existing mouse models gain wider use, further development will encourage integration of genetic and environmental factors to better mimic the human conditions.

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