Genetics of Glucose regulation in Gestation and Growth (Gen3G): a prospective prebirth cohort of mother-child pairs in Sherbrooke, Canada

BMJ Open. 2016 Feb 3;6(2):e010031. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010031.


Purpose: We initiated the Genetics of Glucose regulation in Gestation and Growth (Gen3G) prospective cohort to increase our understanding of biological, environmental and genetic determinants of glucose regulation during pregnancy and their impact on fetal development.

Participants: Between January 2010 and June 2013, we invited pregnant women aged ≥ 18 years old who visited the blood sampling in pregnancy clinic in Sherbrooke for their first trimester clinical blood samples: 1034 women accepted to participate in our cohort study.

Findings to date: At first and second trimester, we collected demographics and lifestyle questionnaires, anthropometry measures (including fat and lean mass estimated using bioimpedance), blood pressure, and blood samples. At second trimester, women completed a full 75 g oral glucose tolerance test and we collected additional blood samples. At delivery, we collected cord blood and placenta samples; obstetrical and neonatal clinical data were abstracted from electronic medical records. We also collected buffy coats and extracted DNA from maternal and/or offspring samples (placenta and blood cells) to pursue genetic and epigenetic hypotheses. So far, we have found that low adiponectin and low vitamin D maternal levels in first trimester predict higher risk of developing gestational diabetes.

Future plans: We are now in the phase of prospective follow-up of mothers and offspring 3 and 5 years postdelivery to investigate the consequences of maternal dysglycaemia during pregnancy on offspring adiposity and metabolic profile.

Trial registration number: NCT01623934.


Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Body Composition
  • Body Mass Index
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Diabetes, Gestational / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes, Gestational / metabolism
  • Epigenesis, Genetic / genetics*
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / metabolism
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Male
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Placenta / metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy Complications / metabolism
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives
  • Vitamin D / metabolism
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / metabolism
  • Young Adult


  • Adiponectin
  • Blood Glucose
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D

Associated data