Morphometric differences between central vs. surface acini in A/J mice using high-resolution micro-computed tomography.

Kizhakke Puliyakote, Abhilash S; Vasilescu, Dragoş M; Newell, John D; Wang, Ge; Weibel, Ewald Rudolf; Hoffman, Eric A (2016). Morphometric differences between central vs. surface acini in A/J mice using high-resolution micro-computed tomography. Journal of applied physiology, 121(1), pp. 115-122. American Physiological Society 10.1152/japplphysiol.00317.2016

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Through interior tomography, high-resolution microcomputed tomography (μCT) systems provide the ability to nondestructively assess the pulmonary acinus at micron and submicron resolutions. With the application of systematic uniform random sampling (SURS) principles applied to in situ fixed, intact, ex vivo lungs, we have sought to characterize morphometric differences in central vs. surface acini to better understand how well surface acini reflect global acinar geometry. Lungs from six mice (A/J strain, 15-20 wk of age) were perfusion fixed in situ and imaged using a multiresolution μCT system (Micro XCT 400, Zeiss). With the use of lower-resolution whole lung images, SURS methods were used for identification of central and surface foci for high-resolution imaging. Acinar morphometric metrics included diameters, lengths, and branching angles for each alveolar duct and total path lengths from entrance of the acinus to the terminal alveolar sacs. In addition, acinar volume, alveolar surface area, and surface area/volume ratios were assessed. A generation-based analysis demonstrated that central acini have significantly smaller branch diameters at each generation with no significant increase in branch lengths. In addition to larger-diameter alveolar ducts, surface acini had significantly increased numbers of branches and terminal alveolar sacs. The total path lengths from the acinar entrance to the terminal nodes were found to be higher in the case of surface acini. Volumes and surface areas of surface acini are greater than central acini, but there were no differences in surface/volume ratios. In conclusion, there are significant structural differences between surface and central acini in the A/J mouse.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Weibel, Ewald Rudolf


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




American Physiological Society




Benoît Zuber

Date Deposited:

17 May 2017 15:08

Last Modified:

18 May 2017 23:53

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

acinar structure; central line-based morphometry; lung parenchyma; pulmonary imaging; quantitative CT; systematic uniform random sampling




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