Main content area

Long-term effects of gestational diabetes on offspring health are more pronounced in skeletal growth than body composition and glucose tolerance

Zhao, Jinping, Weiler, Hope A.
British journal of nutrition 2010 v.104 no.11 pp. 1641-1649
gestational diabetes, long term effects, body composition, skeletal development, glucose tolerance, arachidonic acid, dietary supplements, maternal nutrition, pregnancy, pregnant women, rats, animal models, human diseases, diet-related diseases, progeny, blood glucose, bone density, area, tibia, femur, liver, gender differences, docosahexaenoic acid, fatty acids
Infants of diabetic mothers may have low arachidonic acid (AA) and develop obesity and insulin resistance in adulthood. The present study tested the effect of maternal diabetes and AA supplementation on offspring body composition, bone mass and glucose tolerance from 4 to 12 weeks. Rat dams were randomised into six groups using a 3 × 2 design. The rat dams were treated using the following treatments: saline-placebo, streptozotocin-induced diabetes (STZ) with glucose controlled at < 13 mmol/l (STZ/GC) or poorly controlled at 13–20 mmol/l (STZ/PC) using insulin, and fed either a control or an AA (0·5 % of fat) diet throughout reproduction. Weaned offspring were fed regular chow. Measurements included offspring body composition, bone and oral glucose tolerance testing (OGTT) plus liver fatty acids of dam and offspring. Comparable to saline-placebo offspring, the STZ/GC offspring had greater (P < 0·03) whole body and regional bone area than STZ/PC offspring. Maternal glucose negatively correlated (P < 0·05) with offspring whole body bone area and mineral content at 4 weeks in all offspring, and with tibia area in males at 12 weeks. Maternal liver DHA negatively (P < 0·03) correlated with femur and tibia mineral content and tibia mineral density of female offspring at 12 weeks. Offspring from AA-supplemented dams had higher (P = 0·004) liver AA at 4 weeks. Liver AA at 4 weeks positively (P = 0·05) correlated with lumbar spine mineral density in males. OGTT was not affected by maternal treatment or diet. These results suggest that maternal glucose control has long-term consequences to bone health of adult offspring. Skeletal growth appears more sensitive to maternal hyperglycaemia than glucose tolerance.