Basal lamina of alveolar epithelium and capillaries: quantitative changes with aging and in diabetes mellitus

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1979 Nov;120(5):973-83. doi: 10.1164/arrd.1979.120.5.973.


Epithelial and capillary basal laminae (BL) of alveoli are significantly thicker in diabetics than they are in age-matched control subjects. The degree of thickening does not correlate significantly with patient age or with known duration of diabetes. The thickness of both types of BL in the lungs correlates significantly with thickness of BL in renal tubules and muscle capillaries. However, in muscle capillaries and in renal tubules, the BL deposits are 5 to 10 times greater than they are in the lungs. The effects of BL changes on pulmonary function remain to be explored.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Capillaries / pathology
  • Capillaries / ultrastructure
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Tubules / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscles / pathology
  • Pulmonary Alveoli / blood supply
  • Pulmonary Alveoli / pathology*
  • Pulmonary Alveoli / ultrastructure
  • Skin / pathology