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DNA ploidy and proliferative activity of human pulmonary epithelium.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Shiga University of Medical Science, Ohtsu, Japan.


DNA ploidy and distribution has been determined in normal and abnormal bronchial, bronchiolar and alveolar epithelium from 22 patients, aged between 0 and 85 years, 9 of whom had received chemotherapy for malignant disease. The DNA ploidy was diploid in all the specimens examined. The S + G2/M fraction was significantly greater in diseased than normal bronchial trees. In the bronchial epithelium, mean values +/- the standard deviation (SD) were 5.5 +/- 2.2% vs 1.1 +/- 0.6%, in bronchiolar epithelium 4.6 +/- 1.6% vs 1.0 +/- 0.9% and in alveolar epithelium 4.6 +/- 1.6% vs 0.8 +/- 0.5%. The highest S + G2/M value of 8.9% was obtained from inflamed bronchial epithelium. Polyploid cells up to the octaploid range occurred infrequently but their incidence was slightly increased to between 0.16% and 0.9% in diseased lungs and in patients who had received chemotherapeutic drugs. It was concluded that (1) non-cancerous drugs. It was concluded that (1) non-cancerous pulmonary epithelium is diploid, that (2) pulmonary epithelium shows steady-state renewal at all ages and polyploid cells are rare under normal conditions and that (3) the S + G2/M fraction increases up to approximately 10% in reactive proliferative states.

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