5 years ago

Modelling bronchopulmonary dysplasia in animals: arguments for the preterm rabbit model.

Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) remains a frequent and disabling consequence of preterm birth, despite the recent advances in neonatal intensive care. There is a need to further improve outcomes and many novel therapeutic or preventive strategies are therefore investigated in animal models. We discuss in this review the aspects of human BPD pathophysiology and phenotype, which ideally should be mimicked by an animal model for this disease. Prematurity remains the common denominator in the heterogeneous spectrum of human BPD, and preterm animal models thus have a clear translational advantage. Additional factors, like excessive oxygen, mechanical ventilation and infection, which frequently have been studied in animal models, can contribute to preterm lung injury however are not indispensable to develop BPD. The phenotype of human BPD is characterized by alveolar developmental arrest with extracellular matrix remodeling, signs of obstructive airway disease and pulmonary vascular disease. Many animal models mimic this phenotype and have their place in BPD research, but results should be interpreted bearing in mind the specific advantages and disadvantages of the model. Term mice and rats are well suited for basic explorative research on specific disease mechanisms, essential for the generation of new hypotheses, while the larger ventilated preterm baboons and lambs provide a good platform for the ultimate translation of these strategies towards clinical application. The preterm rabbit model seems a promising model as it the smallest model that includes a factor of prematurity and has a unique position between the small and large animal models.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.2174/1381612823666170926123550

DOI: 10.2174/1381612823666170926123550

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