DOI: 10.1002/pd.6428 ISSN:

Lung proliferation is dependent on the duration not the timepoint of tracheal occlusion in nitrofen rats with diaphragmatic hernia

Veronika Beck, Guy Froyen, Sebastiaan Deckx, Inga Sandaite, Thomas Deprest, Koen Plevoets, Jan A. Deprest
  • Genetics (clinical)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology



Prenatal tracheal occlusion (TO) promotes lung growth and is applied clinically in fetuses with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). Limited data are available regarding the effect of duration versus timepoint of TO. Our objective was to document the impact of TO on lung development in the near‐term period in rats with nitrofen‐induced CDH.


Nitrofen was administered on embryonic day (ED)9 and fetal TO was performed on ED18.5, 19, or 20 (term = ED22). Sham‐operated and untouched littermates served as controls. Lungs were harvested in 0.5‐day steps and only fetuses with a left‐sided CDH were included in further analyses. Healthy fetuses provided a reference for normal near‐term lung development.


Duration of TO in the nitrofen rat model for CDH predicts lung growth in terms of lung‐body‐weight ratio as well as an increased mRNA level of the proliferation marker Ki67. Longer TO also induced a more complex airway architecture. The timepoint of TO was not predictive of lung growth.


In the nitrofen rat model of CDH, a longer period of TO leads to enhanced lung growth and more refined airway architecture.

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