Cell and tissue research vol:284 issue:3 pages:467-71
In a previous study, direct epithelial-stromal cell contacts via foot processes perforating the basement membrane were investigated in bronchioles of postnatal hamster lungs. In the present study, analogous postnatal epithelial foot processes have been found on stromal cells exhibiting active elastogenesis as determined by morphological criteria. In addition, elastin is prominently present close to the epithelium, but less so in the deeper layers, in the bronchioles of the 14-day-old hamster. The elastin often has an asymmetrical distribution around the subepithelial fibroblast with preference for secretion toward the epithelium. Thus, elastogenesis can now be linked to epithelial-stromal interactions at the temporal, functional, and morphological levels.