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The alveoli are lined with two types of cell, the Type I and Type II pneumocytes.

Type I

The Type I pneumocyte is a very large, thin cell stretched over a very large area. This cell cannot replicate and is susceptible to a large number of toxic insults. Type I pneumocytes are responsible for gas exchange occurring in the alveoli.

Type II

Alveolar type II cell, the lamellar bodies can be seen leaving the surface of the cell.

The Type II granular pneumocyte is a roughly cuboidal cell that is usually found at the alveolar septal junctions. Type II cells cover about 5% of the surface area of the alveoli, whereas type I pneumocytes (because of their squamous shape) cover 95% of the total area. Even though they cover less surface area, type II cells greatly outnumber type I cells. Type II cells are responsible for the production and secretion of surfactant.

The Type II pneumocyte can replicate in the alveoli and will replicate to replace damaged Type I pneumocytes.

Type II pneumocytes are larger than type I pneumocytes.

See also

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| group6 = Guidelines / Policies / Government Resources (FDA/CDC) Regarding Pneumocyte | list6 = US National Guidelines Clearinghouse on PneumocyteNICE Guidance on PneumocyteNHS PRODIGY GuidanceFDA on PneumocyteCDC on Pneumocyte

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