The Center for Disease Control and Prevention ranks diabetes mellitus (DM) as the seventh leading cause of death in the USA. The most prevalent forms of DM include Type 2 DM, Type 1 DM, and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). While the acute problem of diabetic hyperglycemia can be clinically managed through dietary control and lifestyle changes or pharmacological intervention with oral medications or insulin, long-term complications of the disease are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. These long-term complications involve nearly all organ systems of the body and share common pathologies associated with endothelial cell abnormalities. To better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying DM as related to future long-term complications following hyperglycemia, we have undertaken a study to determine the frequency that GDM did or did not occur in the second pregnancy of women who experienced GDM in their first pregnancy between 2013 and 2018 at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. Within the five-year period of the study, the results indicate that 7,330 women received obstetrical care for pregnancy during the study period. Of these, 150 developed GDM in their first pregnancy and of these, 42 (28%) had a second pregnancy. Of these 42 women, 20 again developed GDM and 22 did not develop GDM in their second pregnancy within the study period. Following the occurrence of GDM in the first pregnancy, the study (1) established the number of women with and without GDM in the second pregnancy and (2) confirmed the feasibility to study diabetic metabolic memory using maternal placental tissue from GDM women. These studies represent Phase I of a larger research project whose goal is to analyze epigenetic mechanisms underlying true diabetic metabolic memory using endothelial cells isolated from the maternal placenta of women with and without GDM as described in this article.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism