Cellular Kinetics of the Lung
Cell turnover is a well-recognized normal process whereby dying cells in an organ may be desquamated and replaced by newly divided cells. The dynamics of this process vary with the cell type and, for example, may be rapid for gut epithelium, but very slow for hepatocytes (Leblond et al. 1959). In the adult lung, normal cell turnover ist low with a mitotic rate of about 3 cells per 1,000 at any one time. This is an average value for all the different pulmonary cell types, estimated by Sorokin (1970) to be around 40. However, not all of these are capable of division; some are stem cells that may divide, whereas others are more differentiated and do not usually reenter the mitotic cycle.
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