Research: TITF1 Screening in Human Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH)

Children (Basel)

. 2022 Jul 23;9(8):1108.

 doi: 10.3390/children9081108.

TITF1 Screening in Human Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH)

Maria Eugenia Gulino 1Giuseppe Martucciello 2 3Elio Biffali 4Patrizia Morbini 5Roberta Patti 6Marco Borra 4Maria Grazia Scuderi 6

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TITF1 (Thyroid Transcription Factor-1) is a homeodomain-containing transcription factor. Previous studies showed that Titf1 null mice are characterized by failure of tracheo-oesophageal separation and impaired lung morphogenesis resulting in Pulmonary Hypoplasia (PH). In this study, we aim to evaluate the role of TITF1 in the pathogenesis of congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) in humans. We investigated TITF1 expression in human trachea and lungs and performed direct mutation analysis in a CDH population. We studied 13 human fetuses at 14 to 24 weeks of gestation. Five μm sections were fixed in paraformaldehyde and incubated with anti-TITF1 primary antibody. Positive staining was visualized by biotinylated secondary antibody. We also performed TITF1 screening on genomic DNA extracted from peripheral blood of 16 patients affected by CDH and different degrees of PH, searching for mutations, insertions, and/or deletions, by sequencing the exonic regions of the gene. Histochemical studies showed positive brown staining of fetal follicular thyroid epithelium, normal fetal trachea, and normal fetal lung bronchial epithelium. Fetal esophageal wall was immunohistochemically negative. Molecular genetic analysis showed complete identity between the sequences obtained and the Wild Type (WT) form of the gene in all cases. No mutation, insertion and/or deletion was detected. Although TITF1 is expressed in the human fetal lung and has been considered to have a role in the pathogenesis of PH in CDH, the results of our study do not support the hypothesis that TITF1 mutations play a key role in the etiopathogenesis of CDH.

Keywords: TITF1; congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH); histochemistry; molecular genetics; pulmonary hypoplasia (PH).

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