Regenerative growth of respiratory bronchioles in dogs

C. C W Hsia, X. S. Zhou, D. J. Bellotto, H. K. Hagler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Loss of lung units due to pneumonectomy stimulates growth of the remaining lung. It is generally believed that regenerative lung growth involves only alveoli but not airways, a dissociated response termed 'dysanaptic growth.' We examined the structural response of respiratory bronchioles in immature dogs raised to maturity after right pneumonectomy. In another group of adult dogs, we also examined the effect of preventing mediastinal shift after right pneumonectomy on the response of respiratory bronchioles. In immature dogs after pneumonectomy, the volume of the remaining lung increased twofold, with no change in volume density, numerical density, or mean diameter of respiratory bronchiole, compared with that in the control lung. The number of respiratory bronchiole segments and branch points increased proportionally with lung volume. In adult dogs after pneumonectomy, prevention of mediastinal shift reduced lung strain at a given airway pressure, but lung expansion and regenerative growth of respiratory bronchiole were not eliminated. We conclude that postpneumonectomy lung growth is associated with proliferation of intra-acinar airways. The proportional growth of acinar airways and alveoli should optimize gas exchange of the regenerated lung by enhancing gas conductance and mixing efficiency within the acinus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L136-L142
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number1 23-1
StatePublished - Jul 2000


  • Acinar airways
  • Dysanaptic growth
  • Lung strain
  • Mediastinal shift
  • Morphometry
  • Pneumonectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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