Geometric properties of the lung parenchyma after postnatal glucocorticoid treatment in rats

Schwyter, Matthias; Burri, Peter H.; Tschanz, Stefan A. (2003). Geometric properties of the lung parenchyma after postnatal glucocorticoid treatment in rats. Biology of the Neonate, 83(1), pp. 57-64. Karger 10.1159/000067010

[img] Text
67010.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (309kB) | Request a copy

While glucocorticoid (GC) administration appears to be beneficial during the acute phase of treatment of neonates at risk of developing chronic lung disease, it is still not clear whether steroid application has an adverse long-term effect on the lung maturation. Thus, the goal of the present work was to analyze GC effects on the pulmonary structure in a rat model where dosage and timing of drug administration were adapted to the therapeutic situation in human neonatology. The animals received daily a maximum of 0.1 mg dexamethasone phosphate per kilogram body weight during the first 4 postnatal days. Investigations were performed at the light microscopic level by means of a digital image analysis system. While there were no differences in the lung architecture between experimental animals and controls on day 4, the earliest time point of observation, we found a widening of airspaces with a concomitant decrease in the alveolar surface area density, representing a loss of parenchymal complexity, on days 10 and 21 in treated rats. On days 36 and 60, however, no alterations in the pulmonary parenchyma could be detected in experimental animals. We conclude from these findings that the GC-induced initial inhibition of development (days 10 and 21) was completely reversed, so that a normal parenchymal architecture and also a normal alveolar surface area density were found in adult rats (days 36 and 60). From the results obtained using the regimen of GC administration described, mimicking more closely the steroid treatment in human neonatology, we conclude that the observed short-term adverse effects on lung development can be fully compensated until adult age.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Burri, Peter Hermann, Tschanz, Stefan A.


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Stefan Andreas Tschanz

Date Deposited:

01 Sep 2014 10:28

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:31

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Lung rats, Glucocorticoids, Dexamethasone, Lung development, Respiratory distress syndrome therapy, Morphology lung, Morphometry lung, Stereology lung, Digital image analysis




Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback