Lungscapes pp 77-92 | Cite as

Damage to Airway Epithelium

  • P. C. Braga
  • L. Allegra
  • G. Piatti


Ciliated cells and goblet cells are the cells most exposed to external noxae, and thus more subject to damage. In chronic bronchitic disease and in other pulmonary diseases in which there is abnormal mucus production, the goblet cells appear swollen and increased in number, while cilia are often nonuniformly glued to each other by mucus. During bacterial and viral infections marked changes have been observed in the “ciliated carpet”. Initially there is a partial sloughing of isolated ciliated cells and, mainly during viral infection, also loss of cilia, more severe in the bronchioli and small intrapulmonary bronchi than in the major bronchi. This loss of cilia destroys the ciliary carpet on the luminal surface of these airways and exposes the microvilli [1]. The exact mechanism of ciliary loss has not been determined. The damage is not uniform, as intact areas are still visible scattered throughout the respiratory mucosae, near damaged areas.


Goblet Cell Airway Epithelium Ciliated Cell Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia Ciliated Epithelium 
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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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. C. Braga
    • 1
  • L. Allegra
    • 2
  • G. Piatti
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro di Farmacologia Respiratoria, Facoltà di Medicina e ChirurgiaUniversità degli Studi di MilanoItaly
  2. 2.Istituto di Malattie Respiratoria, Facoltà di Medicina e ChirurgiaUniversità degli Studi di MilanoItaly

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