Clearance muco-ciliare per immagini

Translated title of the contribution: Muco-ciliary clearance through images

G. Piatti, P. C. Braga, L. Allegra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The main steps of the optical and electronic magnification are described in the article, from the simple lens to the modern microscopy. To the aim of the paper (consisting in furnishing images clarifying features dealing with cells and secretions characterising the capacity of the bronchial mucosa to clear damaging or anyhow extraneous inhaled substances) better images are furnished by the scanning electron microscope, the only able to give " tridimesional" views of the examined sample, thank to the freeze fracture technique. Images are so presented dealing with the ciliated carpet covering the epithelial surface of the bronchial mucosa, as well as with individual ciliated cells with apical appendices (cilia) catched in most different expressions of their metacronal movement (ciliary beating) aimed, in physiologic conditions, to pin and move with aise the supra-ciliary gel-layer of mucus due to the fact that they beat into a watery sol-layer. Other images represent non-ciliated cells, some of which provided with surface appendices much smaller than cilia (brush cells), some located at the base of the epithelium not reaching its surface (basal cells), and other provided with secretory activity, named goblet cells, in cartilagineous bronchi and in non-cartilagineous bronchioli, while in the most peripheral bronchioli the latter progressively decrease in number, while other more globous secretory cells named Clara cells progressively take their place. Rather rare images of goblet cells are here published, catched in the very moment of the mucus secretion, followed by emptying of the cell itself, with the mucus collected by the nearby cilia, phenomenon which initiates the important mechanism of mechanical airway defense known under the name of muco-ciliary clearance.

Translated title of the contributionMuco-ciliary clearance through images
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)79-90
Number of pages12
JournalGIMT - Giornale Italiano delle Malattie del Torace
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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