Structure of the primordial diaphragm and defects associated with nitrofen-induced CDH

John J. Greer, David Cote, Douglas W. Allan, Wei Zhang, Randal P. Babiuk, Linh Ly, Robert P. Lemke, Keith Bagnall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


The goals of this study were to further our understanding of diaphragm embryogenesis and the pathogenesis of congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). Past work suggests that the pleuroperitoneal fold (PPF) is the primary source of diaphragmatic musculature. Furthermore, defects associated with an animal model of CDH can be traced back to the formation of the PPF. This study was designed to elucidate the anatomic structure of the PPF and to determine which regions of the PPF malform in the well-established nitrofen model of CDH. This was achieved by producing three-dimensional renderings constructed from serial transverse sections of control and nitrofen-exposed rats at embryonic day 13.5. Renderings of left- and right-sided defects demonstrated that the malformations were always limited to the dorsolateral portions of the caudal regions of the PPF. These data provide an explanation of why the holes in diaphragmatic musculature associated with CDH are characteristically located in dorsolateral regions. Moreover, these data provide further evidence against the widely stated hypothesis that a failure of pleuroperitoneal canal closure underlies the pathogenesis of nitrofen-induced CDH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2123-2129
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Congenital diaphragmatic hernia
  • Embryology
  • Lung hypoplasia
  • Myogenesis
  • Pleuroperitoneal fold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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