• Open Access

The building blocks of mammalian lung development



Progress has recently been made in identifying progenitor cell populations in the embryonic lung. Some progenitor cell types have been definitively identified by lineage-tracing studies. However, others are not as well characterized and their existence is inferred on the basis of lung morphology, or mutant phenotypes. Here, I focus on lung development after the specification of the initial lung primordium. The evidence for various lung embryonic progenitor cell types is discussed and future experiments are suggested. The regulation of progenitor proliferation in the embryonic lung, and its coordinate control with morphogenesis, is also discussed. In addition, the relationship between embryonic and adult lung progenitors is considered. Developmental Dynamics 240:463–476, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.