To assess the effect which age at pneumonectomy has on pulmonary compensatory growth, male New Zealand white rabbits underwent left pneumonectomy or sham thoracotomy at 10, 18, or 26 weeks of age. Morphometric and biochemical evaluation of the remaining lungs was carried out four weeks later. There was significant compensatory growth in terms of lung volume, weight, DNA, RNA, and protein in all three age groups. Lung volume response was incomplete, i.e., right lung volume of the experimental animals did not match the volume of both lungs of controls; other variables were not significantly different between the right lung of experimentals and both lungs of the controls. An unchanged surface area per unit volume accompanied by a stable mean linear intercept indicated that alveolar multiplication occurred in the 10 and 18 week age groups. The oldest group had significantly decreased surface area per unit volume and significantly increased mean linear intercept, suggesting an increase in the size of existing alveoli at 26 weeks of age.
- RNA, DNA, protein
- Stereological techniques
- mean linear intercept, alveolar surface to volume ratio, volume proportions
- thoracotomy with and without pneumonectomy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine