Expression of adipokines and estrogen receptors in adipose tissue and placenta of patients with gestational diabetes mellitus

Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2010 Jan 15;314(1):150-6. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2009.08.002. Epub 2009 Aug 12.


The purpose of this study was to assess the expression profile of genes with potential role in the development of insulin resistance (adipokines, cytokines/chemokines, estrogen receptors) in subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT), visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and placenta of pregnant women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and age-matched women with physiological pregnancy at the time of Caesarean section. qRT-PCR was used for expression analysis of the studied genes. Leptin gene expression in VAT of GDM group was significantly higher relative to control group. Gene expressions of interleukin-6 and interleukin-8 were significantly increased, whereas the expressions of genes for estrogen receptors alpha and beta were significantly reduced in SAT of GDM group relative to controls, respectively. We found no significant differences in the expression of any genes of interest (LEP, RETN, ADIPOR1, ADIPOR2, TNF-alpha, CD68, IL-6, IL-8, ER alpha, ER beta) in placentas of women with GDM relative to controls. We conclude that increased expression of leptin in visceral adipose depot together with increased expressions of proinflammatory cytokines and reduced expressions of estrogen receptors in subcutaneous fat may play a role in the etiopathogenesis of GDM.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipokines / genetics
  • Adipokines / metabolism*
  • Adipose Tissue / physiology*
  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Diabetes, Gestational / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Placenta / physiology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Receptors, Estrogen / genetics
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism*


  • Adipokines
  • Receptors, Estrogen