Researchers show controlling glucose in the bloodstream prevents negative consequences of gestational diabetes

A new study by CHRIM trainee and lead author, Brittany Gruber Moyce, involving the labs of CHRIM Researchers Drs. Vernon Dolinsky, Christine Doucette and Grant Hatch has been published in the journal Diabetologia.

The study, entitled “Adiponectin Deficiency Induces Hepatic Steatosis During Pregnancy and Gestational Diabetes in Mice” provided insights into how gestational diabetes develops and also identified a new therapeutic strategy.

About the Study:

Adiponectin is a fat tissue derived hormone that circulates in the bloodstream and can control the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. Previously, several clinical studies of pregnant women have reported that adiponectin levels are low in women with diabetes during pregnancy. In this study, the research team used mice that were completely without adiponectin to determine whether adiponectin is necessary to control blood glucose levels during pregnancy and whether adding back adiponectin can treat gestational diabetes. They found that lack of adiponectin caused the accumulation of fat within the liver only during pregnancy. The accumulation of fat interfered with the ability to control blood glucose levels resulting in high blood glucose levels that are characteristic of gestational diabetes. Adding back adiponectin during pregnancy reduced the liver fat and restored blood glucose to a healthy level.

This work is important because gestational diabetes is associated with an increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes in both mothers and their children.

These findings indicate that interventions aimed at increasing adiponectin levels during pregnancy would be beneficial to prevent the negative consequences of gestational diabetes.