Pediatric Surgery International

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 143–147 | Cite as

Expression of vasoactive mediators during mechanical ventilation in nitrofen-induced diaphragmatic hernia in rats

  • Toko Shinkai
  • Hideki Shima
  • Valeria Solari
  • Prem Puri
Original Article


The high mortality in patients with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) has been attributed to pulmonary hypoplasia and persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPH). Endothelin-1 (ET-1), nitric oxide (NO), and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) have been reported to be important vasoactive mediators in the perinatal pulmonary circulation. The exact mechanism by which these vasoactive mediators interact to regulate the perinatal pulmonary vascular tone in CDH with PPH is not fully understood. We hypothesized that the altered pulmonary vascular reactivity in CDH is due to imbalance in vasoactive mediators. This study was designed to investigate mRNA expression of ET-1, eNOS, and CGRP in CDH lung in the perinatal period. A CDH model was induced in pregnant rats following administration of nitrofen. In control animals, the same dose of olive oil was given without nitrofen. Cesarean section was performed on day 21 of gestation. The newborn rats were intubated and ventilated, and ventilation was continued for 1–6 h. Left lungs were collected from both groups at 0, 1, and 6 h after ventilation (n=8 in each group). Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction on lung tissue was performed to evaluate the relative level of ET-1, eNOS, and CGRP mRNA expression. The results showed a significant increase in ET-1 mRNA in CDH lung at 1 and 6 h after ventilation compared with controls. In CDH lung, eNOS mRNA and CGRP mRNA levels were significantly increased at 1 h but were similar to control values at 6 h after ventilation. The increased expression of vasoconstrictor ET-1 mRNA and vasodilators eNOS mRNA and CGRP mRNA in the CDH lung at 1 h after ventilation suggests that pulmonary vascular tone is rapidly changing after birth. An imbalance in the production of vasoconstrictors and vasodilators by the CDH lung may contribute to high pulmonary vascular resistance.


Persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPH) Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) Endothelin-1 (ET-1) Nitric oxide (NO) Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Toko Shinkai
    • 1
  • Hideki Shima
    • 1
  • Valeria Solari
    • 1
  • Prem Puri
    • 1
  1. 1.Children’s Research CentreOur Lady’s Hospital for Sick ChildrenDublinIreland

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