Mol Ther Nucleic Acids
. 2023 Apr 23;32:594-602.
doi: 10.1016/j.omtn.2023.04.018. eCollection 2023 Jun 13. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37200861/
In utero delivery of miRNA induces epigenetic alterations and corrects pulmonary pathology in congenital diaphragmatic hernia
Sarah J Ullrich 1, Nicholas K Yung 1, Tory J Bauer-Pisani 1, Nathan L Maassel 1, Mary Elizabeth Guerra 1, Mollie Freedman-Weiss 1, Samantha L Ahle 1, Adele S Ricciardi 1 2, Maor Sauler 3, W Mark Saltzman 2 4 5 6, Alexandra S Piotrowski-Daspit 2, David H Stitelman 1
- PMID: 37200861
- PMCID: PMC10185702
- DOI: 10.1016/j.omtn.2023.04.018
Free PMC article
Structural fetal diseases, such as congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) can be diagnosed prenatally. Neonates with CDH are healthy in utero as gas exchange is managed by the placenta, but impaired lung function results in critical illness from the time a baby takes its first breath. MicroRNA (miR) 200b and its downstream targets in the TGF-β pathway are critically involved in lung branching morphogenesis. Here, we characterize the expression of miR200b and the TGF-β pathway at different gestational times using a rat model of CDH. Fetal rats with CDH are deficient in miR200b at gestational day 18. We demonstrate that novel polymeric nanoparticles loaded with miR200b, delivered in utero via vitelline vein injection to fetal rats with CDH results in changes in the TGF-β pathway as measured by qRT-PCR; these epigenetic changes improve lung size and lung morphology, and lead to favorable pulmonary vascular remodeling on histology. This is the first demonstration of in utero epigenetic therapy to improve lung growth and development in a pre-clinical model. With refinement, this technique could be applied to fetal cases of CDH or other forms of impaired lung development in a minimally invasive fashion.
Keywords: MT: Delivery Strategies; congenital diaphragmatic hernia; epigenetic therapy; lung development; microRNA therapy; particle-based fetal therapy.
© 2023 The Author(s).