Comprehensive Physiology Wiley Online Library

Development, Growth, and Aging of the Lung

Full Article on Wiley Online Library



Abstract

The sections in this article are:

1 Lung Growth and Maturation
2 Airway and Alveolar Development
2.1 Intrauterine Events
2.2 Differentiation of Alveolar Epithelium
2.3 Postnatal Events
3 Growth and Development of Connective Tissue
3.1 Intrauterine Period
3.2 Postnatal Period
4 Mechanical Properties of Growing Lung
4.1 Intrauterine and Perinatal Period
4.2 Postnatal Period
5 Control of Lung Growth
5.1 Intrauterine Period
5.2 Postnatal Period
6 Aging of Lung
6.1 Anatomy
6.2 Connective Tissue
6.3 Mechanical Properties
Figure 1. Figure 1.

Pseudoglandular phase of lung development in 16‐wk‐old fetus. × 159.

Figure 2. Figure 2.

Early canalicular phase (20 wk of gestation). Note developing blood vessel (thick arrow) and appearance of capillaries in epithelium (thin arrows). × 263.

Figure 3. Figure 3.

Late canalicular/early saccular phase (30 wk of gestation). Most of epithelium lining future acinus is flattened (thin arrows) but terminal lining of acinus is still cuboidal (thick arrows). Some secondary crests can be seen (see Figs. and ). × 159.

Figure 4. Figure 4.

Middle‐to‐late canalicular phase (26 wk of gestation) showing further branching to form future acinus. Epithelium is still mostly cuboidal and no secondary crests can be seen. × 263.

Figure 5. Figure 5.

Many low secondary crests (arrows) can be seen in late canalicular/early saccular phase (30 wk of gestation). × 384.

Figure 6. Figure 6.

Low (thin arrow) and high (thick arrow) secondary crest (30 wk of gestation). × 525.

Figure 7. Figure 7.

Alveoli are clearly visible (36 wk of gestation). × 159.

Figure 8. Figure 8.

Thin‐walled alveoli in higher‐power view of lung in Fig. . × 686.

Figure 9. Figure 9.

Thickness of interstitium (WT) between air spaces drops dramatically between 20 and 32 wk of gestation, then changes relatively little to term.

From Langston and Thurlbeck
Figure 10. Figure 10.

Respiratory surface area (SA) changes little between 20 and 28 wk of gestation, then increases rapidly to term.

From Langston and Thurlbeck
Figure 11. Figure 11.

Changes in parameters of lung maturation vs. fetal age in rabbit. Percent volume, a measure of lung stability, increased rapidly between 25 and 29 days, then slowed to birth (31 days). Maximum volume, an apparent measure of maturation of peripheral lung tissue, does not begin to change until day 28 and increases linearly thereafter. Minimum surface tension of lung mince, an apparent measure of type II cell maturation and surfactant production, changes slowly between days 25 and 29, then rapidly between days 29 and 30, reaching adult values on day 31.

Adapted from Kotas and Avery
Figure 12. Figure 12.

Increasingly mature alveolar type II cells. Cells were taken from fetal rat lung at 22 days of gestation. Left: immature type II cell filled with glycogen, which displaces cell organelles. Middle: type II cell containing large amounts of glycogen, but with at least 6 lamellar bodies (lb) and several multivesicular bodies. Arrows point to epithelial foot processes, which extend through basement membrane and come in close approximation to interstitial cell. Right: mature type II cell contains no glycogen, has multiple lamellar bodies, and has many surface microvilli. Arrow points to basilar foot process.

Figure 13. Figure 13.

Electron micrograph of secondary crest. Elastic fiber and collagen are near free margin of crest (arrow) and lie in bay of interstitial cell (isc). Note lipid droplet (l) in lipid‐containing interstitial cell. cl, Capillary lumen. Scale = 1 μm.

From Amy, Thurlbeck, et al.
Figure 14. Figure 14.

Terminal bronchiole (tb) in 1‐day‐old mouse; bronchiole leads into a developing acinus. Large, smooth‐walled structures surrounding bronchiole are primary saccules (ps). × 300.

From Amy, Thurlbeck, et al.
Figure 15. Figure 15.

Primary saccules leading from terminal bronchioles (tb) of 3‐day‐old mouse are being subdivided by low secondary crests (arrows). × 300.

From Amy, Thurlbeck, et al.
Figure 16. Figure 16.

Most of the primary saccules of 6‐day‐old mouse have shallow alveoli in their walls (a; dark arrows). Some primary saccules (light arrow) appear less divided than others. × 300.

From Amy, Thurlbeck, et al.
Figure 17. Figure 17.

Alveoli (a) are well developed in 14‐day‐old mouse and alveolar ducts (ad) are visible. Arrow points to a rare pore of Kohn. × 300.

From Amy, Thurlbeck, et al.
Figure 18. Figure 18.

Total number of alveoli in boys and girls. Note wide range of values (mean ± 2 SD).

From Thurlbeck
Figure 19. Figure 19.

Mean value of total number of alveoli (NAT) in children of various ages. Top: mean value for boys and girls. Bottom: mean and SE for both sexes together. Each age group contained similar proportion of each sex. The lower panel shows that no significant differences exist in children between ages 1–2 and 7–8 yr.

From Thurlbeck
Figure 20. Figure 20.

Alveolar surface area increases most rapidly in first 5 yr of life. Stippled areas represent mean ± 2 SE.

From Thurlbeck
Figure 21. Figure 21.

Lung volumes are larger in boys than girls, a difference that becomes significant at 2–3 yr of age. Stippled areas represent mean ± 2 SE. VL, lung volume at full inflation; CHL, crown‐heel length.

From Thurlbeck
Figure 22. Figure 22.

Age‐related changes in lung connective tissue of rat pups, per g lung wt (LW). Data for elastin (desmosines): •, adapted from Nardell and Brody ; ○, adapted from Powell and Whitney . ▪, Data for collagen [nmol OH‐PRO (hydroxyproline) × 10−3] from Nardell and Brody .

Figure 23. Figure 23.

Change in physiological measures of saline‐filled lungs in rat pups from 4 to 40 days of age. Vol/gm, volume at 10 cmH2O inflation/g lung tissue; Prp, pressure at which saline‐filled lung ruptures; PL, deflation recoil pressure at 70% of vol at 10 cmH2O. Both Vol/gm and PL rise over first 20 days of life, then plateau. Prp is stable over first 12 days of life, then rises in a linear fashion thereafter.

Adapted from Nardell and Brody
Figure 24. Figure 24.

Proportion of core of air inside alveoli in alveolar ducts, sacs, and respiratory bronchioles increases with age; proportion of alveolar air decreases with age.

From Thurlbeck
Figure 25. Figure 25.

Volume proportion of lung formed by alveolar wall (% alveolar parenchyma) decreases with age.

From Thurlbeck


Figure 1.

Pseudoglandular phase of lung development in 16‐wk‐old fetus. × 159.



Figure 2.

Early canalicular phase (20 wk of gestation). Note developing blood vessel (thick arrow) and appearance of capillaries in epithelium (thin arrows). × 263.



Figure 3.

Late canalicular/early saccular phase (30 wk of gestation). Most of epithelium lining future acinus is flattened (thin arrows) but terminal lining of acinus is still cuboidal (thick arrows). Some secondary crests can be seen (see Figs. and ). × 159.



Figure 4.

Middle‐to‐late canalicular phase (26 wk of gestation) showing further branching to form future acinus. Epithelium is still mostly cuboidal and no secondary crests can be seen. × 263.



Figure 5.

Many low secondary crests (arrows) can be seen in late canalicular/early saccular phase (30 wk of gestation). × 384.



Figure 6.

Low (thin arrow) and high (thick arrow) secondary crest (30 wk of gestation). × 525.



Figure 7.

Alveoli are clearly visible (36 wk of gestation). × 159.



Figure 8.

Thin‐walled alveoli in higher‐power view of lung in Fig. . × 686.



Figure 9.

Thickness of interstitium (WT) between air spaces drops dramatically between 20 and 32 wk of gestation, then changes relatively little to term.

From Langston and Thurlbeck


Figure 10.

Respiratory surface area (SA) changes little between 20 and 28 wk of gestation, then increases rapidly to term.

From Langston and Thurlbeck


Figure 11.

Changes in parameters of lung maturation vs. fetal age in rabbit. Percent volume, a measure of lung stability, increased rapidly between 25 and 29 days, then slowed to birth (31 days). Maximum volume, an apparent measure of maturation of peripheral lung tissue, does not begin to change until day 28 and increases linearly thereafter. Minimum surface tension of lung mince, an apparent measure of type II cell maturation and surfactant production, changes slowly between days 25 and 29, then rapidly between days 29 and 30, reaching adult values on day 31.

Adapted from Kotas and Avery


Figure 12.

Increasingly mature alveolar type II cells. Cells were taken from fetal rat lung at 22 days of gestation. Left: immature type II cell filled with glycogen, which displaces cell organelles. Middle: type II cell containing large amounts of glycogen, but with at least 6 lamellar bodies (lb) and several multivesicular bodies. Arrows point to epithelial foot processes, which extend through basement membrane and come in close approximation to interstitial cell. Right: mature type II cell contains no glycogen, has multiple lamellar bodies, and has many surface microvilli. Arrow points to basilar foot process.



Figure 13.

Electron micrograph of secondary crest. Elastic fiber and collagen are near free margin of crest (arrow) and lie in bay of interstitial cell (isc). Note lipid droplet (l) in lipid‐containing interstitial cell. cl, Capillary lumen. Scale = 1 μm.

From Amy, Thurlbeck, et al.


Figure 14.

Terminal bronchiole (tb) in 1‐day‐old mouse; bronchiole leads into a developing acinus. Large, smooth‐walled structures surrounding bronchiole are primary saccules (ps). × 300.

From Amy, Thurlbeck, et al.


Figure 15.

Primary saccules leading from terminal bronchioles (tb) of 3‐day‐old mouse are being subdivided by low secondary crests (arrows). × 300.

From Amy, Thurlbeck, et al.


Figure 16.

Most of the primary saccules of 6‐day‐old mouse have shallow alveoli in their walls (a; dark arrows). Some primary saccules (light arrow) appear less divided than others. × 300.

From Amy, Thurlbeck, et al.


Figure 17.

Alveoli (a) are well developed in 14‐day‐old mouse and alveolar ducts (ad) are visible. Arrow points to a rare pore of Kohn. × 300.

From Amy, Thurlbeck, et al.


Figure 18.

Total number of alveoli in boys and girls. Note wide range of values (mean ± 2 SD).

From Thurlbeck


Figure 19.

Mean value of total number of alveoli (NAT) in children of various ages. Top: mean value for boys and girls. Bottom: mean and SE for both sexes together. Each age group contained similar proportion of each sex. The lower panel shows that no significant differences exist in children between ages 1–2 and 7–8 yr.

From Thurlbeck


Figure 20.

Alveolar surface area increases most rapidly in first 5 yr of life. Stippled areas represent mean ± 2 SE.

From Thurlbeck


Figure 21.

Lung volumes are larger in boys than girls, a difference that becomes significant at 2–3 yr of age. Stippled areas represent mean ± 2 SE. VL, lung volume at full inflation; CHL, crown‐heel length.

From Thurlbeck


Figure 22.

Age‐related changes in lung connective tissue of rat pups, per g lung wt (LW). Data for elastin (desmosines): •, adapted from Nardell and Brody ; ○, adapted from Powell and Whitney . ▪, Data for collagen [nmol OH‐PRO (hydroxyproline) × 10−3] from Nardell and Brody .



Figure 23.

Change in physiological measures of saline‐filled lungs in rat pups from 4 to 40 days of age. Vol/gm, volume at 10 cmH2O inflation/g lung tissue; Prp, pressure at which saline‐filled lung ruptures; PL, deflation recoil pressure at 70% of vol at 10 cmH2O. Both Vol/gm and PL rise over first 20 days of life, then plateau. Prp is stable over first 12 days of life, then rises in a linear fashion thereafter.

Adapted from Nardell and Brody


Figure 24.

Proportion of core of air inside alveoli in alveolar ducts, sacs, and respiratory bronchioles increases with age; proportion of alveolar air decreases with age.

From Thurlbeck


Figure 25.

Volume proportion of lung formed by alveolar wall (% alveolar parenchyma) decreases with age.

From Thurlbeck
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Jerome S. Brody, William M. Thurlbeck. Development, Growth, and Aging of the Lung. Compr Physiol 2011, Supplement 12: Handbook of Physiology, The Respiratory System, Mechanics of Breathing: 355-386. First published in print 1986. doi: 10.1002/cphy.cp030322