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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2013 Jan;24(1):40-50. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2012.09.003. Epub 2012 Sep 26.

Recent advances and contraversies on the role of pulmonary neuroepithelial bodies as airway sensors.

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Division of Pathology, Department of Paediatric Laboratory Medicine, The Research Institute, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Pulmonary neuroepithelial bodies are polymodal sensors widely distributed within the airway mucosa of mammals and other species. Neuroepithelial body cells store and most likely release serotonin and peptides as transmitters. Neuroepithelial bodies have a complex innervation that includes vagal sensory afferent fibers and dorsal root ganglion fibers. Neuroepithelial body cells respond to a number of intraluminal airway stimuli, including hypoxia, hypercarbia, and mechanical stretch. This article reviews recent findings in the cellular and molecular biology of neuroepithelial body cells and their potential role as airway sensors involved in the control of respiration, particularly during the perinatal period. Alternate hypotheses and areas of controversy regarding potential function as mechanosensory receptors involved in pulmonary reflexes are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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