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This pathway contributes very little to alveolar clearance and the half-life for this transport is of the order of 100 days. 6 6 _ 1 Lung secretions in disease Mucus hypersecretion is a protective mechanism of the tracheobronchial tree against inhaled irritants, infection and acute antigen challenge. W h e n the stimulus persists for a long period of time the mucus secreting structures—mucous cells and glands—respond with hyperplasia and hypertrophy and the protective mechanism L u n g s e c r e t i o n s in d i s e a s e 41 becomes disease.

Within the mucus layer, the mucus close to the cell surface forms m o r e open networks while the luminal side forms more cohesive plaques. , 1977a). 3 Control of tracheobronchial mucus secretion T h e n e u r o h u m o r a l control of airway secretion has been studied both in vivo and in vitro in a wide range of animal species including goose, rat, cat, dog, m o n k e y and ferret. Unfortunately relatively little is known about the control of secretion in h u m a n s and it is restricted to in vitro studies.

In contrast at high frequencies sputum from chronic bronchitics and cystic fibrotics showed no correlation. It is probable that these findings may have an important effect on mechanical coupling and cough. During cough high shear rates are applied to the mucus and the dissociation between viscosity and elasticity could facilitate the propulsion of mucus by cough.

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