Architecture and Cellular Composition of the Air-Blood Tissue Barrier

Kent E Pinkerton, Peter Gehr, Alejandro Castañeda, James D. Crapo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

15 Scopus citations


There are over 4000 different varieties of mammals. Among the terrestrial mammals, body size ranges from the 2-g Etruscan shrew to the 6600-kg African elephant. Lung tissue mass involved in gas exchange in this class of animals also covers a wide spectrum. Differences in the dimensions of the mammalian respiratory system are intriguing, since those pulmonary tissues involved in gas exchange are strikingly similar in organization and cellular composition, yet serve vastly different oxygen consumption needs in a highly efficient manner for animals spanning more than a 3-million-fold difference in total body mass. The purpose of this chapter is to review and to compare the anatomy and cellular composition of the alveolar region in mammalian lungs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComparative Biology of the Normal Lung: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9780124045774, 9780124047266
StatePublished - Mar 18 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Air-blood tissue barrier
  • Allometric plot
  • Alveolar epithelium
  • Capillary
  • Comparative lung anatomy
  • Dendritic cells
  • Endothelium
  • Gas exchange
  • Lung interstitium
  • Lung parenchyma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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