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This chapter should help the student to:

  • List the three divisions of the respiratory system and the components of each.

  • Compare the right and left lungs in terms of the number and path of the primary bronchi and number of lobes.

  • Describe the respiratory tract walls in terms of the arrangement, composition, and function of their layers and cells.

  • Distinguish between respiratory tract components based on differences in wall structure.

  • Describe the structure of the interalveolar septum.

  • Describe the blood–air barrier’s structure and function. Identify its components in electron micrographs.

  • Compare sympathetic and parasympathetic effects on bronchial smooth muscle.

  • Describe the structure, function, and location of the pleura.

  • Identify the organ, tissues, and cell types present and distinguish among the system components in micrographs of respiratory tract or lung.


  1. List the ventilating mechanism components involved in inhaling, exhaling, or both (I.A.11).

  2. Name the respiratory tree’s two basic portions and the functions of each (I.A.2 and 3).

  3. List, in order, the respiratory tract segments through which inspired air passes (I.A.2 and 3).

  4. Name three ways in which inspired air is conditioned in the respiratory tract to optimize gas exchange (I.A.2.). Name the structure(s) associated with each type of conditioning (I.B.1.a; II.A and B).

  5. Compare the right and left lungs in terms of the number of primary and secondary bronchi (VII.A and B), the number of lobes (VII.B), and the angle at which the primary bronchi enter (VII.A).

  6. Indicate whether the following respiratory tract wall components increase or decrease from the nose to the alveoli (I.B.1; Table 17–1):

    1. Diameter of lumen

    2. Wall thickness

    3. Epithelial height

    4. Number of cilia

    5. Number of goblet cells

    6. Number of glands

    7. Amount of elastic tissue

    8. Amount of smooth muscle

    9. Amount of bone

    10. Amount of cartilage

    11. Size of individual cartilages

    12. Number of alveoli

  7. Indicate the level of the respiratory tree (Table 17–1) at which the following transitions occur:

    1. Conducting portion to the respiratory portion

    2. Ciliated pseudostratified columnar to nonkeratinized stratified squamous (and back to ciliated pseudostratified columnar) epithelium

    3. Ciliated pseudostratified columnar to simple ciliated columnar epithelium

    4. Simple columnar to simple cuboidal epithelium

    5. Simple cuboidal to simple squamous epithelium

  8. At which level(s) of the respiratory tree (Table 17–1) are the following initially lost?

    1. Goblet cells

    2. Cilia

    3. Glands

    4. Cartilage

    5. Smooth muscle

    6. Lymphatic capillaries (IX.B)

  9. At which level(s) of the respiratory tree are the following found?

    1. Vibrissae (II.A)

    2. Swell bodies (II.B)

    3. Elastic cartilage (V.A & B)

    4. C-shaped cartilages (VI)

    5. Platelike cartilage islands (VII.B)

    6. Anastomoses (IX.A.2)

    7. Clara cells (VII.E)

    8. First appearance of alveoli (VII.F; Table 17–1)

    9. Pulmonary surfactant (VIII.C)

    10. Type I cells (VIII.B.1)

    11. Type II cells (VIII.B.2)

  10. What is the function of each of the following in the respiratory system?

    1. Conchae (II.B)

    2. Vibrissae (II.A)

    3. Swell bodies (II.B)

    4. Epiglottis (V.A)

    5. Cilia (I.B.1.a)

    6. Small granule cell (I.B.1.a)

    7. Clara cells (VII.E)

    8. Alveolar pores (VIII.A.2)

    9. Pulmonary surfactant (VIII.C)

    10. Type I cells (VIII.B.1)

    11. Type II cells (VIII.B.2)

    12. Alveolar macrophages (VIII.B.3)

  11. Sketch a tissue ...

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