Neonatal chronic lung disease in the preterm infant, i.e. bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is characterized by impaired pulmonary development with its effects persisting into adulthood. Triggered in the immature lung by infectious complications, oxygen toxicity and the impact of mechanical ventilation, a sustained inflammatory response, extensive remodeling of the extracellular matrix, increased apoptosis as well as altered growth factor signaling characterize the disease. The current review focuses on selected pathophysiologic processes and their interplay in disease development. Furthermore, the potential of both, acute and long-term changes to the pulmonary scaffold and the cellular interface in concert with dysregulated growth factor signaling to affect aging and repair processes in the adult lung is discussed.