Epithelial transformations in the establishment of the blood-gas barrier in the developing chick embryo lung

Makanya, A N; Hlushchuk, R; Duncker, H-R; Draeger, A; Djonov, V (2006). Epithelial transformations in the establishment of the blood-gas barrier in the developing chick embryo lung. Developmental dynamics, 235(1), pp. 68-81. New York, N.Y.: John Wiley & Sons 10.1002/dvdy.20627

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The tall epithelium of the developing chick embryo lung is converted to a squamous one, which participates in formation of the thin blood-gas barrier. We show that this conversion occurred through processes resembling exocrine secretion. Initially, cells formed intraluminal protrusions (aposomes), and then transcellular double membranes were established. Gaps between the membranes opened, thus, severing the aposome from the cell. Alternatively, aposomes were squeezed out by adjacent cells or were spontaneously constricted and extruded. As a third mechanism, formation and fusion of severed vesicles or vacuoles below the aposome and their fusion with the apicolateral plasma membrane resulted in severing of the aposome. The atria started to form by progressive epithelial attenuation and subsequent invasion of the surrounding mesenchyme at regions delineated by subepithelial alpha-smooth muscle actin-positive cells. Further epithelial attenuation was achieved by vacuolation; rupture of such vacuoles with resultant numerous microfolds and microvilli, which were abscised to accomplish a smooth squamous epithelium just before hatching.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Anatomy

UniBE Contributor:

Hlushchuk, Ruslan; Draeger, Annette and Djonov, Valentin






John Wiley & Sons




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:46

Last Modified:

06 Dec 2013 13:41

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Web of Science ID:



https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/18938 (FactScience: 1209)

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