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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Antenatal dexamethasone suppresses tumor necrosis factor-alpha expression in hypoplastic lung in nitrofen-induced diaphragmatic hernia in rats.

The hypoplastic lung in congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) has both a quantitative and qualitative reduction in surfactant. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha ( TNF-alpha) drastically decreases surfactant phospholipids synthesis by isolated human type II pneumocytes. Recently, it was shown that TNF-alpha mRNA expression is increased in human hypoplastic CDH lung. Antenatal glucocorticoid therapy demonstrates improved surfactant biochemical immaturity in an animal CDH model. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of antenatal dexamethasone (Dex) on TNF-alpha protein and gene expression in nitrofen-induced CDH hypoplastic lung in rats. A CDH model was induced in pregnant rats after the administration of nitrofen on d 9.5 of gestation. Dex was given intraperitoneally on d 18.5 and 19. 5. Cesarean section was performed on d 21. In situ hybridization was performed with a rat TNF-alpha-specific and digoxigenin-labeled oligonucleotide probe. TNF-alpha level was measured in solubilized lung tissue extracts by ELISA. In control lung, TNF-alpha mRNA expression was weak or absent. In contrast, strong TNF-alpha mRNA expression was demonstrated in type II pneumocytes and bronchiolar epithelium in CDH lung. In Dex-treated CDH lung, TNF-alpha mRNA expression was weak in both type II pneumocytes and the bronchiolar epithelium. The level of TNF-alpha was elevated significantly in CDH lung compared with levels in control lung extracts (p < 0.01). In Dex-treated CDH lung, TNF-alpha protein was significantly decreased compared with CDH lung (p < 0.05). Our findings suggest that the reduction in the local production of TNF-alpha may be one contributing mechanism by which antenatal glucocorticoid therapy improves pulmonary parenchymal immaturity, including surfactant.[1]


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