Research: Reversible Fetal Tracheal Occlusion in Mice: A Novel Minimal Invasive Technique

J Surg Res

. 2020 Dec 24;260:278-283. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2020.11.080. Online ahead of print.

Reversible Fetal Tracheal Occlusion in Mice: A Novel Minimal Invasive Technique

Emrah Aydın 1Nilhan Torlak 2Alkim Yildirim 3Elif Gökçen Bozkurt 3Affiliations expand


Background: There is a certain need for reversible, cheap, and reproducible animal models for understanding the impact of tracheal occlusion (TO) in the congenital diaphragmatic hernia and pathophysiology. We aimed to present an easy, reversible, and minimally invasive murine TO model with optimized time points for introduction and removal of TO.

Methods: Time-mated C57BL/6 mice underwent laparotomy at embryonic day 16.5 (E16.5) with transuterine TO performed on two fetuses in each uterine horn. In the TO group, the fetuses were harvested at E18.5 without suture removal; the suture was released at E17.5 in the TO-R group, and all fetuses were harvested at E18.5. The lungs of the fetuses were compared by morphometric and histologic analysis.

Results: Successful TO was confirmed in 34 of 37 fetuses. Twenty-nine of them survived to E18.5 (90.6%), six of the fetuses had a spontaneous vaginal delivery. Fetal weights were comparable, but there was significant difference in lung weights and lung-to-body weight ratios (0.020 ± 0.006 [control] versus 0.026 ± 0.002 [TO] versus 0.023 ± 0.005 [TO-R]; P = 0.013). DNA/protein and DNA/lung weight ratios were elevated, whereas protein/lung weight ratio was lower in TO compared with the control group.

Conclusions: Reversal of fetal transuterine TO at E17.5, which was put at E16.5 in mice, is feasible with comparable outcomes to other current animal models with certain advantages and potential to translate the studies to the human.

Keywords: CHAOS; Congenital diaphragmatic hernia; Fetal lung development; Fetal tracheal occlusion; Lung growth; Reversible fetal tracheal occlusion.

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