American Chemical Society
An important feature of meconium-instilled newborn lungs is an inflammatory response and apoptotic cell death. Apoptosis exists also in healthy lungs, but in meconium-instilled lungs its level is usually dramatically higher. Apoptosis plays an important role in normal cell life, but increased levels of apoptosis induce great damage for any tissues. Apoptosis in the lungs has been greatly overlooked for the past decade, and meconium-induced apoptosis is a relatively new event and not effectively studied at the present time. This Review summarized current knowledge regarding meconium-induced inflammation and apoptosis in newborn lungs.