Research: Impact of congenital diaphragmatic hernia on diaphragm muscle function in neonatal rats

J Appl Physiol (1985)

. 2021 Jan 28. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00852.2020. Online ahead of print.

Impact of congenital diaphragmatic hernia on diaphragm muscle function in neonatal rats

Matthew J Fogarty 1Elizabeth Ann L Enninga 2Eniola R Ibirogba 2Rodrigo Ruano 2Gary C Sieck 3Affiliations expand

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Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is characterized by incomplete partitioning of the thoracic and abdominal cavities by the diaphragm muscle (DIAm). The resulting in utero invasion of the abdominal viscera into the thoracic cavity leads to impaired fetal breathing movements, severe pulmonary hypoplasia and pulmonary hypertension. We hypothesized that in a well-established rodent model of nitrofen-induced CDH, DIAm isometric force generation and DIAm fiber cross-sectional areas would be reduced compared to non-lesioned littermate and control pups. In CDH and non-lesioned pups at embryonic day 21 or birth, DIAm isometric force responses to supramaximal field stimulation (200 mA, 0.5 ms duration pulses in 1-s duration trains at rates ranging from 10-100 Hz) was measured ex vivo. Further, DIAm fatigue was determined in response to 120 s of repetitive stimulation at 40 Hz in 330 ms duration trains repeated each second. The DIAm was then stretched to Lo, frozen, and fiber cross-sectional areas were measured in 10 μm transverse sections. In CDH pups, there was a marked reduction in DIAm specific force and force following 120 s of fatiguing contraction. The cross-sectional area of DIAm fibers was also reduced in CDH pups compared to non-lesioned littermates and control pups. These results show that CDH is associated with a dramatic weakening of the DIAm, which may contribute to poor survival despite various surgical efforts to repair the hernia and improve lung development.

Keywords: fatigue; muscle specific force; ventilation.

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