OBJECTIVE: We sought to investigate the effects of antenatal retinoic acid on the pulmonary vasculature and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and VEGF receptors (VEGFR) expression in a nitrofen-induced congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) model. STUDY DESIGN: Rat fetuses were exposed to nitrofen at gestational day 9.5 and/or all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) at gestational days 18.5-20.5. We assessed lung growth, airway, and vascular morphometry. VEGF, VEGFR1, and VEGFR2 expression was analyzed by Western blotting and immunohistochemistry. Continuous data were analyzed by analysis of variance and Kruskal-Wallis test. RESULTS: CDH decreased lung to body weight ratio, increased mean linear intercept and mean transection length/airspace, and decreased mean airspace cord length. ATRA did not affect lung growth or morphometry. CDH increased proportional medial wall thickness of arterioles while ATRA reduced it. ATRA recovered expression of VEGF and receptors, which were reduced in CDH. CONCLUSION: Retinoic acid and VEGF may provide pathways for preventing pulmonary hypertension in CDH.
- congenital diaphragmatic hernia
- fetal rat
- lung morphometry
- vascular endothelial growth factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology