Alveoli increase in number but not size from birth to adulthood in rhesus monkeys

Dallas Melvin Hyde, Shelley A. Blozis, Mark V. Avdalovic, Lei F. Putney, Rachel Dettorre, Nathanial J. Quesenberry, Paramjit Singh, Nancy K. Tyler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Postnatal developmental stages of lung parenchyma in rhesus monkeys is about one-third that of humans. Alveoli in humans are reported to be formed up to 8 yr of age. We used design-based stereological methods to estimate the number of alveoli (Nalv) in male and female rhesus monkeys over the first 7 yr of life. Twenty-six rhesus monkeys (13 males ranging in age from 4 to 1,920 days and lung volumes from 41.7 to 602 cm3, 13 females ranging in age from 22 to 2,675 days and lung volumes from 43.5 to 380 cm3) were necropsied and lungs fixed, isotropically oriented, fractionated, sampled, embedded, and sectioned for alveolar counting. Parenchymal, alveolar, alveolar duct core air, and interalveolar septal tissue volumes increased rapidly during the first 2 yr with slowed growth from 2 to 7 yr. The rate of change was greater in males than females. Nalv also showed consistent growth throughout the study, with increases in Nalv best predicted by increases in lung volume. However, mean alveolar volume showed little relationship with age, lung volume, or body weight but was larger in females and showed a greater size distribution than in males. Alveoli increase in number but not volume throughout postnatal development in rhesus monkeys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Alveolar ducts
  • Parenchyma
  • Postnatal development
  • Stereology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology


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