Detailed Criteria for the Assessment of Clinical Symptoms in a New Murine Model of Severe Allergic Conjunctivitis

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PurposeThe aims of this research were to: (1) generate a rapid protocol for the sensitization of rodents to a defined allergen without footpad injections yet leading to both acute- and late-phase hypersensitivity reactions in the ocular surface; and (2) define detailed criteria for the assessment of clinical symptoms in the acute-phase response.MethodsWith the approved methods for the use of experimental animals in research and existing sensitization protocols as a starting point, we developed and tested a new protocol with respect to its ability to generate an acute- and late-phase response on ocular challenge. Clinical symptoms were assessed by a trained ophthalmologist under masked conditions, and late-phase responses determined by histologic analysis of conjunctival tissue sections.ResultsA new protocol for the rapid sensitization of mice, avoiding footpad injections, yet yielding both acute- and late-phase allergic responses, was developed. Detailed criteria for the assessment of disease severity were established and tested.ConclusionThis protocol establishes a murine model of allergic conjunctivitis that will be useful for both the study of the molecular and cellular basis of allergic reactions in the ocular surface and the testing of new therapies for this disease.

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