The mammalian respiratory system and critical windows of exposure for children's health

Kent E Pinkerton, Jesse P. Joad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

99 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The respiratory system is a complex organ system composed of multiple cell types involved in a variety of functions. The development of the respiratory system occurs from embryogenesis to adult life, passing through several distinct stages of maturation and growth. We review embryonic, fetal, and postnatal phases of lung development. We also discuss branching morphogenesis and cellular differentiation of the respiratory system, as well as the postnatal development of xenobiotic metabolizing systems within the lungs. Exposure of the respiratory system to a wide range of chemicals and environmental toxicants during perinatal life has the potential to significantly affect the maturation, growth, and function of this organ system. Although the potential targets for exposure to toxic factors are currently not known, they are likely to affect critical molecular signals expressed during distinct stages of lung development. The effects of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke during critical windows of perinatal growth are provided as an example leading to altered cellular and physiological function of the lungs. An understanding of critical windows of exposure of the respiratory system on children's health requires consideration that lung development is a multistep process and cannot be based on studies in adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-462
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Volume108
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
StatePublished - 2000

Fingerprint

Respiratory system
child health
Respiratory System
Health
Lung
maturation
Growth
Tobacco
Poisons
morphogenesis
Environmental Exposure
Xenobiotics
xenobiotics
Morphogenesis
Smoke
Embryonic Development
Child Health
respiratory system
exposure

Keywords

  • Branching morphogenesis
  • Canalicular
  • Cellular differentiation
  • Embryogenesis
  • Environmental tobacco smoke
  • Fetal
  • Pseudoglandular
  • Saccular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

The mammalian respiratory system and critical windows of exposure for children's health. / Pinkerton, Kent E; Joad, Jesse P.

In: Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 108, No. SUPPL. 3, 2000, p. 457-462.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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