A method to induce stable atopic dermatitis-like symptoms in NC/Nga mice housed with skin-lesioned mice.Br J Dermatol. 2006 Mar; 154(3):426-30.BJ
Itching is a characteristic symptom in various forms of dermatosis, especially atopic dermatitis; consequently it is a major diagnostic criterion. All features are similar to events seen in patients, hence NC/Nga mice are considered to be a suitable model of human atopic dermatitis. However, there were data spreads in commencing time and the degree of skin lesions in NC/Nga mice.
In the present study, we attempted to improve experimental conditions to induce stable skin lesions and to establish a more appropriate method. Methods NC/Nga mice were kept together with skin-lesioned mice during the experiment period (mixed-NC mice). The dermatitis scores of face, ears and rostral back were assessed. Scratching behaviour was measured using an apparatus, MicroAct (Neuroscience, Tokyo, Japan). Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and serum total IgE levels were also measured. To observe the presence of mites, the skin of the rostral backs of the mixed-NC mice was stripped using cellulose tape. We also investigated the effects of fipronil (Wako, Osaka, Japan), an acaricidal compound, on skin lesions and scratching behaviour of these mixed-NC mice.
In mixed-NC mice, skin lesions appeared from 2 weeks, worsened gradually and reached peak levels of a dermatitis score in 8 weeks. Scratching behaviour increased significantly from day 3. TEWL also increased from day 3, but total IgE increased from day 7. Mites were observed on the rostral backs of mixed-NC mice from day 3, and all mice had these mites on day 28. Giving pretreatment with fipronil (Wako), the skin lesions and scratching behaviour of mixed-NC mice was significantly suppressed.
The findings of the present study suggest that the method of being kept together with skin-lesioned mice can induce stable skin lesions and scratching behaviour at an early stage, without skin lesions. This method could help investigate a more stable evaluation of the effects on symptoms of atopic dermatitis, and mechanisms of the itching. It was considered that parasitism of mites, not allergic reactions, was the pathogenesis of skin lesions and scratching behaviour in mixed-NC mice.