A proposed mechanism for the early development of the human tracheobronchial tree

G. M. Hutchins, H. M. Haupt, G. W. Moore

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    The development of the lung in 25 human embryos and early fetuses up to 140 mm crown-rump length was studied by examination of serial histologic sections, morphometry, and selected reconstructions. The proportion of pulmonary tissue consisting of tracheobronchial tree increases during this period. Bronchial cross-sectional diameters, length of the most distal bronchial branches, and thickness of the distal mesenchyme decline during development. The results are consistent with the concept that the dichotomous branching of the growing tracheobronchial tree occurs because of resistance to forward growth of the bronchial branch by compressed mesenchyme, pleura, or adjacent structures. Division and further growth of the bronchus takes place in areas of lower resistance. This process produces a 'filling in' of space available for lung development and brings the epithelial and mesenchymal elements into their definitive relationships.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)635-640
    Number of pages6
    JournalAnatomical Record
    Volume201
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - 1981

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
    • Anatomy

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