Published: 15-12-2014 10:43 | Updated: 15-12-2014 10:44

Asthma Research in organisms without lungs

Professor Sven-Erik Dahlén, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet and Professor Robin Williams, Royal Holloway, London will start a research project in which organisms without lungs will be used for asthma research. The research project is funded by the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs).

Sven-Erik Dahlén and Robin Williams will use slime moulds to explore how bitter tasting compounds cause airways that are constricted in asthma to relax, with the aim of identifying how potential new treatments for asthma might work at a cellular level to reverse or prevent asthma attacks.

This project will serve as a world-leading example of how to develop alternatives to animal models in basic and preclinical biomedical research.

This is one of four research projects funded by NC3Rs and which is working to better understand the basic biology of human asthma - without the use of traditional mammalian models.

NC3Rs has challenged scientists to approach asthma research in a completely novel way, encouraging them to seek alternatives to the mammalian lungs that can be used in research to provide valuable insights into how the disease manifests itself. NC3Rs has funded projects that will use fruit flies, zebra fish, and perhaps most surprisingly, a type of soil-living amoebas, known as a slime mould, to better understand how asthma is triggered and how new treatments may act.

For more information contact:


Sven-Erik Dahlen

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 872 03
Organizational unit: Experimental asthma and allergy research

Press release NC3Rs - Studying asthma in slime moulds and other organisms without lungs

Information NC3Rs