Maintenance and repair of the bronchiolar epithelium.


Journal Article

Bronchioles of the distal conducting airway are lined by a simple epithelium composed primarily of nonciliated secretory (Clara) cells and ciliated cells. These cells are long-lived in the normal lung; renewal is mediated by cells that constitute a nonclassical stem cell hierarchy. Within this type of hierarchy, facultative progenitor cells are responsible for normal epithelial maintenance and rare adult tissue-specific stem cells are activated only in response to depletion of the facultative progenitor cell pool. This organizational structure is a departure from the classical stem cell hierarchies that maintain rapidly renewing tissues such as the epithelium of the small intestine. This article compares cellular and molecular mechanisms of epithelial renewal in the relatively quiescent bronchiolar epithelium and in the mitotically active intestinal epithelium. Fundamental distinctions between stem cell hierarchies of slowly and rapidly renewing epithelia are highlighted and may provide insight into tissue-specific interpretation of signals that mediate repair in some tissues but lead to remodeling and chronic disease in other organ systems.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Stripp, BR; Reynolds, SD

Published Date

  • April 15, 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 5 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 328 - 333

PubMed ID

  • 18403328

Pubmed Central ID

  • 18403328

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1546-3222

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1513/pats.200711-167DR


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States