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Front Med (Lausanne). 2015 Apr 28;2:27. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2015.00027. eCollection 2015.

A breath of fresh air on the mesenchyme: impact of impaired mesenchymal development on the pathogenesis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia.

Author information

1
Department of General Pediatrics and Neonatology, University Children's Hospital Giessen , Giessen , Germany ; Department of Internal Medicine II, Universities of Giessen and Marburg Lung Center , Giessen , Germany ; Member of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL) , Giessen , Germany.
2
Department of Internal Medicine II, Universities of Giessen and Marburg Lung Center , Giessen , Germany ; Member of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL) , Giessen , Germany.
3
Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University , New York, NY , USA.
4
Division of Newborn Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, University of Southern California , Los Angeles, CA , USA.
5
Department of Internal Medicine II, Universities of Giessen and Marburg Lung Center , Giessen , Germany ; Member of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL) , Giessen , Germany ; Saban Research Institute, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, University of Southern California , Los Angeles, CA , USA ; Kazan Federal University , Kazan , Russia.

Abstract

The early mouse embryonic lung, with its robust and apparently reproducible branching pattern, has always fascinated developmental biologists. They have extensively used this embryonic organ to decipher the role of mammalian orthologs of Drosophila genes in controlling the process of branching morphogenesis. During the early pseudoglandular stage, the embryonic lung is formed mostly of tubes that keep on branching. As the branching takes place, progenitor cells located in niches are also amplified and progressively differentiate along the proximo-distal and dorso-ventral axes of the lung. Such elaborate processes require coordinated interactions between signaling molecules arising from and acting on four functional domains: the epithelium, the endothelium, the mesenchyme, and the mesothelium. These interactions, quite well characterized in a relatively simple lung tubular structure remain elusive in the successive developmental and postnatal phases of lung development. In particular, a better understanding of the process underlying the formation of secondary septa, key structural units characteristic of the alveologenesis phase, is still missing. This structure is critical for the formation of a mature lung as it allows the subdivision of saccules in the early neonatal lung into alveoli, thereby considerably expanding the respiratory surface. Interruption of alveologenesis in preterm neonates underlies the pathogenesis of chronic neonatal lung disease known as bronchopulmonary dysplasia. De novo formation of secondary septae appears also to be the limiting factor for lung regeneration in human patients with emphysema. In this review, we will therefore focus on what is known in terms of interactions between the different lung compartments and discuss the current understanding of mesenchymal cell lineage formation in the lung, focusing on secondary septae formation.

KEYWORDS:

alveologenesis; bronchopulmonary dysplasia; endothelial–mesenchymal interaction; epithelial–mesenchymal interaction; lung development; secondary septae formation

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