Long-term effects of maternal diabetes on vascular reactivity and renal function in rat male offspring

Pediatr Res. 2005 Dec;58(6):1274-9. doi: 10.1203/01.pdr.0000188698.58021.ff.


Fetal growth impairment can occur in pregnancy complicated by diabetes. Although several studies have focused the effects of nutritional status on intrauterine development, the long-term impact of maternal diabetes on vascular and renal function in the offspring is poorly investigated. In the present study, blood pressure profiles and renal function parameters were investigated in the offspring of diabetic rats (DO). Female rats were made diabetic throughout gestation with a single dose of streptozotocyn (STZ) 10 d before mating. After weaning, the offspring had free access to food and water. Arterial pressure was evaluated every 15 d. Functional and morphometric kidney studies were performed in newborn, 3, 6 and 12-mo-old male rats in DO and in controls, C. Although maternal diabetes did not affect nephron number in the young adult rat, glomerular hypertrophy developed from 3 mo on. Glomerular Filtration Rate and Renal Plasma Flow were observed to be significantly decreased in DO when compared with C, from 3 mo on. In DO, hypertension was observed from 8 wk on and persisted elevated throughout the experimental period (12 mo). Vascular reactivity, evaluated in mesenteric arterial bed showed a decreased endothelium-dependent vasodilatation in 12-mo-old DO animals, while preserved response to sodium nitroprusside was demonstrated. Our data show that exposure to intrauterine diabetes induced by STZ does not affect nephron number in the young offspring but can cause permanent changes in Nitric Oxide (NO)-related vascular response, which, in turn may accelerate the natural age-related nephron loss.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholine / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Blood Vessels / drug effects
  • Bradykinin / pharmacology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / complications
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Hypertension / etiology*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Hypertrophy / pathology
  • Kidney Diseases / etiology*
  • Kidney Diseases / physiopathology
  • Kidney Glomerulus / pathology
  • Male
  • Nitroprusside / pharmacology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Diabetics*
  • Rats
  • Renal Plasma Flow
  • Vasoconstriction / physiology
  • Vasodilation / physiology


  • Blood Glucose
  • Nitroprusside
  • Acetylcholine
  • Bradykinin