Abnormal Lung Function Induced by Prenatal Insult

  • L. M. Newman
  • E. M. Johnson
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 65)


Mammalian susceptibility to teratogenic insult has been of interest and concern for several years. It was apparent as early as the 1940 s that the developing embryo was both exposed to and at risk of injury by exogenous agents or conditions (Warkany 1971). Until recently, expression of developmental abnormalities was thought to be limited to gross structural malformations, and the type of malformations observed were thought to be interrelated with the exact gestational or developmental stage at the time of exposure, as well as with the actual target phase or cell line. Additional evidence suggests, in the case of central nervous system (CNS) and lung evaluation, that the structural level and degree of damage may also dictate the form of expression (Hutchings and Gaston 1974; Vorhees et al. 1978; Rodier 1977; Jensh et al. 1978; Newman and Johnson 1980; Christian and Johnson to be published). A subtle alteration, cellular or biochemical, may not cause a gross structural malformation, yet markedly affect the ability or efficiency by which a particular cell line or organ functions. Two questions arise. First, should a prenatally acquired functional deficit be classified as a teratologic effect; and second, what is the importance of this type of expression? It is our feeling that when a prenatal insult is expressed as a functional deficit with an impact that either threatens the life of an infant or affects the quality of life, it is indeed a teratologic incidence and is as important as any gross structural malformation. Therefore, the primary question becomes “what actual change has occurred and how may that change be manifested?” With this in mind, we have explored the sensitivity of the developing lung.


Amniotic Fluid Fetal Lung Lung Development Lamellar Body Septal Wall 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. M. Newman
  • E. M. Johnson

There are no affiliations available

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