Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is assumed to originate from a malformation of the amuscular mesenchymal component of the primordial diaphragm. Mutations in ephrin-B1, a membrane protein that is expressed by mesenchymal cells, have been found in newborn infants with CDH and associated pulmonary hypoplasia (PH), highlighting its important role during diaphragmatic and airway development. Ephrin-B1, -B2, and -B4 are expressed in fetal rat lungs and have been identified as key players during lung branching morphogenesis. We hypothesized that diaphragmatic and pulmonary expression of ephrin-B1, -B2, and -B4 is decreased in the nitrofen-induced CDH model.
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