Lung structure at preterm and term birth

Woods, Jason C.; Schittny, Johannes (2016). Lung structure at preterm and term birth. In: Jobe, Alan; Shitsett, Jeffrey; Abman, Steven (eds.) Fetal and Neonatal Lung Development. Clinical Correlates and Technologies for the Future (pp. 124-139). New York: Cambridge University Press

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When lung development is not interrupted by premature birth and unaffected by genetic or environmental disturbances, all components develop with complex control to form a functional organ with a predictable timeline during fetal development. In this chapter we describe the relationship between morphological development and function in both physiological and pathological conditions in human lung development. Tree-like growth of the lung begins during the first few weeks postconception, with the embryonic stage characterized by branching morphogenesis in both the airways and blood vessels, separately in the left and right lung buds, which appear near day 26 postcoitus (p.c.). Branching continues through the embryonic stage, with proliferation of mesenchymal and epithelial cells and apoptosis near branch points and in the areas of new formation. The pseudoglandular stage (weeks 5–17 p.c.) is characterized by accelerated cellular proliferation and airway and vascular branching, with epithelial differentiation in proximal and distal airways. Further epithelial differentiation, angiogenesis of the parenchymal capillary network, and the first formation of the air–blood barrier characterize the canalicular stage (16–26 weeks p.c.), just before the completion of branching morphogenesis (saccular stage, weeks 24–38 p.c.) and the start of alveolarization (week 36 through adolescence).

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Schittny, Johannes


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




Cambridge University Press




Johannes Schittny

Date Deposited:

13 Jul 2016 15:26

Last Modified:

13 Jul 2016 15:26




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