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Evidence and structural mechanism for late lung alveolarization


Schittny, J C; Mund, S I; Stampanoni, M (2008). Evidence and structural mechanism for late lung alveolarization. American Journal of Physiology: Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, 294(2):L246-L254.

Abstract

According to the current view, the formation of new alveolar septa from preexisting ones ceases due to the reduction of a double- to a single-layered capillaries network inside the alveolar septa (microvasculature maturation postnatal days 14-21 in rats). We challenged this view by measuring stereologically the appearance of new alveolar septa and by studying the alveolar capillary network in three-dimensional (3-D) visualizations obtained by high-resolution synchrotron radiation X-ray tomographic microscopy. We observed that new septa are formed at least until young adulthood (rats, days 4-60) and that roughly half of the new septa are lifted off of mature septa containing single-layered capillary networks. At the basis of newly forming septa, we detected a local duplication of the capillary network. We conclude that new alveoli may be formed in principle at any time and at any location inside the lung parenchyma and that lung development continues into young adulthood. We define two phases during developmental alveolarization. Phase one (days 4-21), lifting off of new septa from immature preexisting septa, and phase two (day 14 through young adulthood), formation of septa from mature preexisting septa. Clinically, our results ask for precautions using drugs influencing structural lung development during both phases of alveolarization.

According to the current view, the formation of new alveolar septa from preexisting ones ceases due to the reduction of a double- to a single-layered capillaries network inside the alveolar septa (microvasculature maturation postnatal days 14-21 in rats). We challenged this view by measuring stereologically the appearance of new alveolar septa and by studying the alveolar capillary network in three-dimensional (3-D) visualizations obtained by high-resolution synchrotron radiation X-ray tomographic microscopy. We observed that new septa are formed at least until young adulthood (rats, days 4-60) and that roughly half of the new septa are lifted off of mature septa containing single-layered capillary networks. At the basis of newly forming septa, we detected a local duplication of the capillary network. We conclude that new alveoli may be formed in principle at any time and at any location inside the lung parenchyma and that lung development continues into young adulthood. We define two phases during developmental alveolarization. Phase one (days 4-21), lifting off of new septa from immature preexisting septa, and phase two (day 14 through young adulthood), formation of septa from mature preexisting septa. Clinically, our results ask for precautions using drugs influencing structural lung development during both phases of alveolarization.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Engineering
Dewey Decimal Classification:170 Ethics
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:21 Jan 2009 17:38
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:51
Publisher:American Physiological Society
ISSN:1040-0605
Publisher DOI:10.1152/ajplung.00296.2007
Official URL:http://ajplung.physiology.org/cgi/reprint/294/2/L246
PubMed ID:18032698
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-10838

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