Animal models, organ and cell cultures are critical to understand mechanisms and pathogenesis of pulmonary health and disease, and are indispensable in drug development. However, the pathogenetic and translational relevance of the models is often unclear. Further, the use of animals in medical research is becoming increasingly controversial from an ethical perspective.
The objectives of this seminar were to gather respiratory scientists and clinicians from different subspecialties to foster exchange and increase their knowledge about lung disease models. It is expected that better understanding of the available models, especially their benefits and their limitations, will facilitate better use of research resources and reduce the numbers of animals in pulmonary research, thereby enhancing the ethical standards of experimental pulmonary research.