Development of Airway Epithelium

Charles Plopper, Michelle Fanucchi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Tracheobronchial airway development begins prenatally and continues for an extended period of postnatal life. In adults, the organization of tracheobronchial airway epithelium is highly complex and variable both within the airway tree of a single species and in the same airway generation in different species, including the composition of the cell populations, their secrectory products, and their metabolic capabilities. When the same differentiated cell phenotypes are present in many different airway generations, their relative abundance varies widely. Differentiation during pre- and postnatal development is a proximal and distal phenomenon, with each phenotype differentiating over a different period of time depending on the airway microenvironment in which it is differentiating. This developmental process balances between the active proliferation necessary for airway growth and the differentiated functions required for healthy airway function in neonates. All of these processes are highly susceptible to disruption by toxicants that target the respiratory system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Lung
Subtitle of host publicationDevelopment, Aging and the Environment: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9780127999418
StatePublished - Oct 23 2014


  • Basal cell
  • Bronchi
  • Bronchioles
  • Ciliated cell
  • Clara cell
  • Mucous goblet cell
  • Serous cell
  • Trachea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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