Definition of Respiratory bronchioles

The bronchioles or bronchioli are the passageways by which air passes through the nose or mouth to the alveoli (air sacs) of the lungs, in which branches no longer contain cartilage or glands in their submucosa. They are branches of the bronchi, and are part of the conducting zone of the respiratory system. The bronchioles divide further into smaller terminal bronchioles which are still in the conducting zone and these then divide into the smaller respiratory bronchioles which mark the beginning of the respiratory region.