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The results of a new study provide further evidence of the connection between the upper and lower airways in allergic disease.
Researchers developed a model of allergic rhinitis in order to study how the upper and lower airways respond when allergens are deposited only in the nasal cavity, as reported in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (December 2002, part 1). The investigators sensitized 6- to 8-week-old mice with ovalbumin, an egg protein and common allergen, administered through the nose. The mice were then challenged with the ovalbumin to initiate an allergic response. The results showed that allergic inflammation occurred in both the upper airway and the lower airway, despite the fact that little or no allergen was detected in the lungs.