American journal of physiology. Lung cellular and molecular physiology

Prevention of pulmonary hypoplasia and pulmonary vascular remodeling by antenatal simvastatin treatment in nitrofen-induced congenital diaphragmatic hernia.

PMID 25617377


Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) has a high mortality rate mainly due to lung hypoplasia and persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). Simvastatin has been shown to prevent the development of pulmonary hypertension (PH) in experimental models of PH. We, therefore, hypothesized that antenatal simvastatin would attenuate PPHN in nitrofen-induced CDH in rats. The efficacy of antenatal simvastatin was compared with antenatal sildenafil, which has already been shown to improve pathological features of PPHN in nitrofen-induced CDH. On embryonic day (E) 9.5, nitrofen or vehicle was administered to pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats. On E11, nitrofen-treated rats were randomly assigned to antenatal simvastatin (20 mg·kg(-1)·day(-1) orally), antenatal sildenafil (100 mg·kg(-1)·day(-1) orally), or placebo administration from E11 to E21. On E21, fetuses were delivered by cesarean section, killed, and checked for left-sided CDH. Lung tissue was then harvested for further pathobiological evaluation. In nitrofen-induced CDH, simvastatin failed to reduce the incidence of nitrofen-induced CDH in the offspring and to increase the body weight, but improved the lung-to-body weight ratio and lung parenchyma structure. Antenatal simvastatin restored the pulmonary vessel density and external diameter, and reduced the pulmonary arteriolar remodeling compared with nitrofen-induced CDH. This was associated with decreased lung expression of endothelin precursor, endothelin type A and B receptors, endothelial and inducible nitric oxide synthase, together with restored lung activation of apoptotic processes mainly in the epithelium. Antenatal simvastatin presented similar effects as antenatal therapy with sildenafil on nitrofen-induced CDH. Antenatal simvastatin improves pathological features of lung hypoplasia and PPHN in experimental nitrofen-induced CDH.

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Nitrofen, analytical standard
Nitrofen, PESTANAL®, analytical standard