Small Bronchiolar Histopathological Changes Related to Prolonged Diabetes

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Amornrat Chookliang; Passara Lanlua; Apichaya Niyomchan & Sirinush Sricharoenvej


Diabetes mellitus increases the risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The small bronchiole is a prominent site of airflow obstruction that causes increased airway resistance in patients with the COPD. Therefore, the histological and ultrastructural changes in small bronchioles in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced chronic diabetes were determined. Twenty-four weeks after STZ induction, rats were sacrificed, and the right and left lungs were collected for examination by light and electron microscopy. The alterations to the small bronchioles were the same in both lungs of these diabetic rats. The bronchiolar epithelial cells, both ciliated and secretory club cells, showed pyknotic nuclei and damaged cytoplasmic organelles. Increased thickening of the bronchiolar wall occurred in diabetic rats due to smooth muscle layer thickening, inflammatory cell infiltration, and increased numbers of myofibroblasts with collagen deposition.These results indicated that chronic diabetes caused extreme damage to small bronchioles, which may lead to chronic small airway obstruction and ultimately increase the likelihood of COPD progression. This basic knowledge provides a better understanding of the progression of pathogenesis in the small airways of patients with prolonged diabetes.

KEY WORDS: Lung; Small bronchiole; Chronic diabetes; Streptozotocin.

How to cite this article

CHOOKLIANG, A.; LANLUA, P.; NIYOMCHAN, A. & SRICHAROENVEJ, S. Small bronchiolar histopathological changes related to prolonged diabetes. Int. J. Morphol., 39(2):371-377, 2021.