Prenatal treatment with retinoic acid activates parathyroid hormone-related protein signaling in the nitrofen-induced hypoplastic lung
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Prenatal treatment with retinoic acid (RA) has been reported to stimulate alveologenesis in hypoplastic lungs (HL) in the nitrofen model of congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) promotes alveolar maturation by stimulating surfactant production, regulated by PTHrP receptor (PTHrP-R). PTHrP knockout and PTHrP-R null mice both exhibit pulmonary hypoplasia. We have recently reported that nitrofen inhibits PTHrP signaling in the nitrofen-induced HL. Because both PTHrP and PTHrP-R genes have RA-inducible element, we hypothesized that prenatal administration of RA upregulates pulmonary gene expression of PTHrP and PTHrP-R in the nitrofen-induced HL.
Pregnant rats were exposed to either olive oil or nitrofen on day 9 of gestation (D9). RA was given on days D18, D19 and D20. Fetal lungs were obtained on D21 and divided into four groups: control, control + RA, nitrofen, nitrofen + RA. RT-PCR and Immunohistochemistry were performed to investigate the pulmonary PTHrP and PTHrP-R gene and protein expression in each group, respectively.
The pulmonary gene expression levels of PTHrP and PTHrP-R were significantly increased in nitrofen + RA group compared to nitrofen group (p < 0.05). Immunoreactivity of PTHrP and PTHrP-R was also remarkably increased in nitrofen + RA group compared to nitrofen group.
Upregulation of PTHrP and PTHrP-R genes after prenatal treatment with RA in the nitrofen-induced HL suggests that RA may have a therapeutic potential in reverting lung hypoplasia in CDH, by stimulating surfactant production and alveolar maturation.
KeywordsNitrofen Parathyroid hormone-related protein Congenital diaphragmatic hernia Retinoic acid Pulmonary hypoplasia
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