The bronchial glands in the main bronchus and succeeding generations of the inferior lingular airway have ben studied in 10 left lungs removed surgically for lung cancer. The ratios of sulphated to sialidated mucin found did not coincide with previous results and suggested that this is not a useful measurement for the assessment of cigarette smoke or other inhaled pollutants. The total acid mucin, measured as a percentage of bronchial gland present, showed the same trends as previously reported--namely, more storage of mucin in non-smokers and in more distal generations. The large dose of cigarettes smoked by the patients in the present series was reflected by a lower level of acid mucin storage, and this measure is potentially useful for assessing exposure to cigarette smoke and other inhaled pollutants. The percentages of mucous and serous cells in successive generations of an airway are recorded for the first time in these smokers and in a "normal" postmortem specimen. The results suggest that similar proportions of mucous and serous cells exist in both large and small airways, but with a tendency in the smokers for more mucous cells in the more distal generations.
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