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Critical Care Research and Practice
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 958078, 6 pages
Research Article

Changes in the Expression of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor after Fetal Tracheal Occlusion in an Experimental Model of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia

1Neonatology Service, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Calle Doctor Esquerdo 46, 28007 Madrid, Spain
2Pediatric Surgery Service, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain
3Immunology Service, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain

Received 11 October 2012; Accepted 1 January 2013

Academic Editor: Hercília Guimarães

Copyright © 2013 E. Sanz-López et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), an angiogenic factor secreted by type II pneumocytes, could play a role in congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) pathogenesis. Animal studies suggest that VEGF accelerates lung growth. Aim. To quantify VEGF on fetal lungs in a nitrofen rat model for CDH and to analyze the effect of tracheal occlusion (TO) in VEGF in fetal lung rats after nitrofen and in control rats not exposed to nitrofen. Methods. Pregnant rats received nitrofen on day 9.5 of gestation. Fetuses were divided into 2 groups: those that underwent TO on day 20 and those that did not. On day 21, fetuses were delivered, and the lungs were dissected for subsequent VEGF quantification. Results. CDH was detected in 43% of the fetuses that received nitrofen. Fetuses with CDH showed significantly reduced lung weight/fetal weight ratio and lower VEGF levels than the remainder. A higher VEGF value was observed after TO. Conclusions. VEGF protein was significantly lower in fetuses with CDH. TO induced a significant increase in VEGF compared to the fetuses that did not undergo TO. Although not statistically significant, we observed higher VEGF levels in fetuses with CDH and TO compared to fetuses with CDH and no further intervention.