The cellular composition of the lung lining fluid gradually changes from bronchus to alveolus

Respir Res. 2021 Nov 4;22(1):285. doi: 10.1186/s12931-021-01882-x.


Although large advances have recently been made mapping out the cellular composition of lung tissue using single cell sequencing, the composition and distribution of the cellular elements within the lining fluid of the lung has not been extensively studied. Here, we assessed the cellular composition of the lung lining fluid by performing a differential cell analysis on bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and epithelial lining fluid (ELF) at four different locations within the lung in post-lung transplantation patients. The percentage of neutrophils and lymphocytes is reduced in more distal regions of the lungs, while the percentage of macrophages increases in these more distal regions. These data provide valuable information to determine which lung lining fluid sampling technique and location is best to use for measuring specific factors and biomarkers, and to increase the understanding of different cell populations in specific lung regions.

Keywords: Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid; Epithelial lining fluid; Neutrophils.

Publication types

  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bronchi / pathology*
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / cytology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Lung Transplantation*
  • Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutrophils / pathology
  • Pulmonary Alveoli / pathology*
  • Young Adult