Background: It has been suggested from several animal studies and clinical observations that congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) with pulmonary hypoplasia is accompanied by a disturbed perinatal ion transport. This could lead to respiratory distress due to slower clearance of fetal lung fluid at birth.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine whether CDH is related to changes in the expression of three rate-limiting transporter proteins in lung epithelium at birth.
Methods: Tracheal aspirate was collected from 12 newborn infants with CDH and from 8 newborn control patients. Sampling was performed at postnatal age 18 and at 43 h in the CDH group and at 18 h in the control group. The protein abundance of α-, β- and γ-epithelial Na(+) channel (ENaC), aquaporin 5 and Na(+), K(+)-ATPase α(1) was analyzed using semiquantitative immunoblotting.
Results: The levels of β-ENaC, γ-ENaC and Na(+), K(+)-ATPase α(1) collected at 18 h postnatally were significantly lower in CDH infants compared to control infants. In the CDH group, no significant difference in the expression of the ENaC subunits, Na(+), K(+)-ATPase α(1) or aquaporin 5 could be detected between the two sampling time points.
Conclusions: This downregulation may result in an abnormal lung fluid absorption which could be an important mechanism behind the respiratory distress seen in newborn CDH patients.
Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.