Objectives: To review the animal models of COPD, and to compare these data to those found in humans.
Results: Smoke-induced animal models can produce emphysema, although the lesions are not generally close mimics of human emphysema, as well as increases in mucous-secreting cells and vascular changes including pulmonary hypertension. There is considerable species-to-species variation in the degree and/or presence of these different abnormalities, so that care has to be used in selecting a species to study. Remarkably little information is available about the biochemical and molecular changes induced by cigarette smoke in animal models.
Conclusions: Great insights into the pathology of chronic obstructive lung disease have been made using various animal models.