Send to

Choose Destination
Anat Embryol (Berl). 2003 Sep;207(2):119-34. Epub 2003 Jul 11.

Developmental dynamics of the bronchial (airway) and air sac systems of the avian respiratory system from day 3 to day 26 of life: a scanning electron microscopic study of the domestic fowl, Gallus gallus variant domesticus.

Author information

School of Anatomical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of the Witwatersrand, 7 York Road, Parktown, 2193 Johannesburg, South Africa.


The lung buds were first conspicuous on day 3 of embryogenesis. They fused on day 4 and the common growth divided into left and right primordial lungs on day 5. Progressively, the lungs elongated, diverged, and advanced towards the respective dorsolateral aspects of the body wall, reaching their definitive topographical locations in the coelomic cavity on day 6. On day 7, they rotated, attached onto the ribs, gradually started to slide into them, and were deeply inserted by day 8. The primary bronchus (PB) first appeared as a solid cord of epithelial cells (day 4) that successively canalized as it invaded the surrounding mesenchyme, extending along the proximal-distal axis of the lung. From day 8, the secondary bronchi (SB) begun to sprout from the PB in a craniocaudal sequence. On day 9, the parabronchi (PR) started to bud from the SB, projecting into the adjacent mesenchyme. They commenced to canalize on day 10 and greatly increased in length, number, and diameter. By day 13, the PR had anastomosed profusely and totally masked the SB. The luminal surface of the PR was lined by a columnar epithelium from which the atria (day 15), infundibulae (day 16), and air capillaries (ACs) (day 18) developed. At hatching (day 21), the ACs were well developed and had anastomosed profusely with the blood capillaries. Of the air sacs (ASs), the abdominal ones appeared earliest (day 5) followed by the cervical ones on day 6. In quick succession, the other ASs were well formed by day 10. After hatching, no further consequential structures formed: only shifts in topographical locations and an increase in size and number occurred. Morphogenetically, the avian respiratory system differs from the mammalian one in certain key aspects: besides the ASs that are unique to it, the lung is exceptionally complex in structure and is essentially mature at the end of the embryonic life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center