How common is the lipid body-containing interstitial cell in the mammalian lung?

Tahedl, Daniel; Wirkes, André; Tschanz, Stefan A.; Ochs, Matthias; Mühlfeld, Christian (2014). How common is the lipid body-containing interstitial cell in the mammalian lung? American journal of physiology - lung cellular and molecular physiology, 307(5), L386-L394. American Physiological Society 10.1152/ajplung.00131.2014

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Pulmonary lipofibroblasts are thought to be involved in lung development, regeneration, vitamin A storage, and surfactant synthesis. Most of the evidence for these important functions relies on mouse or rat studies. Therefore, the present study was designed to investigate the presence of lipofibroblasts in a variety of early postnatal and adult mammalian species (including humans) to evaluate the ability to generalize functions of this cell type for other species. For this purpose, lung samples from 14 adult mammalian species as well as from postnatal mice, rats, and humans were investigated using light and electron microscopic stereology to obtain the volume fraction and the total volume of lipid bodies. In adult animals, lipid bodies were observed only, but not in all rodents. In all other species, no lipofibroblasts were observed. In rodents, lipid body volume scaled with body mass with an exponent b = 0.73 in the power law equation. Lipid bodies were not observed in postnatal human lungs but showed a characteristic postnatal increase in mice and rats and persisted at a lower level in the adult animals. Among 14 mammalian species, lipofibroblasts were only observed in rodents. The great increase in lipid body volume during early postnatal development of the mouse lung confirms the special role of lipofibroblasts during rodent lung development. It is evident that the cellular functions of pulmonary lipofibroblasts cannot be transferred easily from rodents to other species, in particular humans.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Anatomy
09 Interdisciplinary Units > Microscopy Imaging Center (MIC)

UniBE Contributor:

Tschanz, Stefan A.


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology




American Physiological Society




Stefan Andreas Tschanz

Date Deposited:

27 Jan 2015 11:44

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:39

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

design-based stereology electron microscopy interstitial cell lipid body pulmonary lipofibroblast




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