EFFECT OF TEMPORARY TRACHEAL OCCLUSION ON THE ENDOTHELIN SYSTEM IN EXPERIMENTAL CASES OF DIAPHRAGMATIC HERNIA
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Previously, the authors have shown that tracheal occlusion (TO) partially reverses the onset of congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH)-induced pulmonary hypertension (PH) and abnormal pulmonary vascular development whereas release of the occlusion (TR) abolishes these clinical benefits. As a consequence of their mitogenic and vasoactive properties, the authors hypothesize that the expression of endothelin (ET)-1 and ET receptor (ETA) genes is increased in lungs of CDH lambs, and that this increase is abolished partially in CDH + TO but not in CDH + TO + TR. A surgical left-sided CDH was created in fetal lambs at 80 days of gestation (gd), followed by TO at 108 gd, and by TR at 129 gd. Four groups were compared: CDH, CDH + TO, CDH + TO + TR, and nonoperated controls (C). Assessment of mRNA expression by Northern blot showed significantly lower ET-1 and ETA levels in the CDH group than in the CDH + TO +/- TR groups (P < .05). Endothelin protein expression levels were lower in CDH +/- TO +/- TR groups when compared with controls for airways and vessels (P < .05) with the exception of endothelial cells. In contrast, ETA protein expression levels were higher in CDH +/- TO +/- TR groups compared with controls for airways and blood vessels smooth muscles (P < .05). These results suggest that involvement of the endothelin system in the pulmonary hypertension associated with CDH is limited. However, the endothelin system appears to be modulated during development.
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