Korean Journal of Pediatrics 2004;47(10):1031-1035.
Published online October 15, 2004.
Factors Involved in Lung Development and Alveolarization
Min Soo Park
Department of Pediatrics, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
폐 발달과 폐포 생성에 관련된 인자
연세대학교 의과대학 소아과학교실
Min Soo Park, Email: minspark@yumc.yonsei.ac.kr
Lung development is a sum of processes that involve harmonized orchestration of expressions of various factors in time and space. The mastermind governing these phenomena is not known, but cumulative efforts so far have helped us gain some insights as to what are involved in and how complex the developmental process is. Beginning as primitive foregut, lungs undergo processes called branching morphogenesis and alveolarization to attain complex structures that enable effective gas exchange through conducting airways and acini. Some transcription factors, peptide growth factors, extracellular matrix proteins, and integrin and related factors are among many factors that are known to be involved. They are spatially localized and compartmentalized to render specific actions such as cellular proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis, meanwhile timely expressions of the same factors at specified time intervals are essential. Some are expressed in epithelial cells whereas others in mesenchymal cells; the crosstalks among them seem critical in coordination of developmental processes. Understanding these molecular mechanisms of lung development under normal and abnormal conditions may help devise methods to prevent as well as to revert aberrant development seen in many clinical conditions known as bronchopulmonary dysplasia, pulmonary fibrosis, and emphysema.
Key Words: Lung development, Alveolarization, Branching morphogenesis, Epithelial-mesenchymal interaction, Bronchopulmonary dysplasia

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