Maternal diabetes mellitus--early consequences for the offspring

Pediatr Nephrol. 2007 Jan;22(1):37-43. doi: 10.1007/s00467-006-0282-4. Epub 2006 Sep 12.


Although several studies have focused on the effects of nutritional status during intrauterine development, few have addressed the impact of maternal diabetes mellitus on renal function and morphology in the young offspring. In the present study, renal morpho-functional aspects were studied in the offspring of diabetic rats. Diabetes was induced in female rats with a single dose of streptozotocyn (STZ), 10 days before mating. After weaning, the offspring (DO) had free access to food and water. Arterial blood pressure was measured, by tail plethysmography, from 2 months on. Renal function was evaluated in 2- and 3-month-old rats in the DO group and in controls (C). Analysis of renal morphology was carried out in newborn and in 1-, 2- and 3-month-old rats in both groups. Although the nephron number was not changed in the DO group, glomerular hypertrophy was observed from 2 months on. At the same age, the glomerular filtration rate was significantly reduced in DO, and blood pressure was significantly increased, when compared to C. Glucose tolerance test (GTT) from DO showed a different profile when compared to C. The number of PCNA positive cells in renal tissue was similar in both groups. Our data suggests that exposure to intrauterine diabetes may be an important cause of both impaired renal function and hypertension in offspring, without changes in the nephron number.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / complications*
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / etiology*
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / pathology
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / physiology
  • Hypertension / etiology
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Hypertrophy / etiology
  • Hypertrophy / pathology
  • Kidney Glomerulus / pathology
  • Kidney Glomerulus / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Diabetics
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / etiology*
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / pathology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar