Chronic Effects of Drugs on Airway Mucus-Secreting Cells

  • P. K. Jeffery
  • D. F. Rogers
  • M. Ayres
  • P. M. Evans
  • D. A. William
Part of the Ettore Majorana International Science Series book series (EMISS, volume 14)


Atmospheric pollution and, in particular, personal pollution by tobacco smoke (T.S.) is a major cause of chronic inflammation of the tracheo-bronchial mucous membrane (Royal College of Physicians, 1977). In man there is an increase in the number of mucus-secreting cells both in the surface epithelium and in submucosal glands (resulting in gland hypertrophy). The clinical consequences are recurrent cough and the excessive production of airways’ mucus which is expectorated as sputum (Reid 1954). Small airways, normally without mucus-secreting cells, are also affected and show secretory cell metaplasia, a bronchiolitis and smooth muscle hypertrophy (Hogg et al, 1968; Cosio et al, 1980). Thus whilst the contribution to sec re to ry cell increase by surface and gland cells is greatest in the largest airways, the secretory cell metaplasia seen in the epithelium of bronchioli probably has the greater functional implications (Hogg et al, 1968; Thurlbeck et al, 1975).


Tobacco Smoke Small Airway Mucous Cell Tracheal Epithelium Submucosal Gland 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. K. Jeffery
    • 1
  • D. F. Rogers
    • 1
  • M. Ayres
    • 1
  • P. M. Evans
    • 1
  • D. A. William
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Lung Pathology, Cardiothoracic InstituteBrompton HospitalLondonUK

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