Adiponectin Deficiency Impairs Maternal Metabolic Adaptation to Pregnancy in Mice

Diabetes. 2017 May;66(5):1126-1135. doi: 10.2337/db16-1096. Epub 2017 Jan 10.


Hypoadiponectinemia has been widely observed in patients with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). To investigate the causal role of hypoadiponectinemia in GDM, adiponectin gene knockout (Adipoq-/- ) and wild-type (WT) mice were crossed to produce pregnant mouse models with or without adiponectin deficiency. Adenoviral vector-mediated in vivo transduction was used to reconstitute adiponectin during late pregnancy. Results showed that Adipoq-/- dams developed glucose intolerance and hyperlipidemia in late pregnancy. Increased fetal body weight was detected in Adipoq-/- dams. Adiponectin reconstitution abolished these metabolic defects in Adipoq-/- dams. Hepatic glucose and triglyceride production rates of Adipoq-/- dams were significantly higher than those of WT dams. Robustly enhanced lipolysis was found in gonadal fat of Adipoq-/- dams. Interestingly, similar levels of insulin-induced glucose disposal and insulin signaling in metabolically active tissues in Adipoq-/- and WT dams indicated that maternal adiponectin deficiency does not reduce insulin sensitivity. However, remarkably decreased serum insulin concentrations were observed in Adipoq-/- dams. Furthermore, β-cell mass, but not glucose-stimulated insulin release, in Adipoq-/- dams was significantly reduced compared with WT dams. Together, these results demonstrate that adiponectin plays an important role in controlling maternal metabolic adaptation to pregnancy.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / genetics*
  • Adiponectin / deficiency*
  • Adiponectin / genetics
  • Adiponectin / metabolism
  • Adipose Tissue, White / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Body Weight
  • Diabetes, Gestational / genetics*
  • Diabetes, Gestational / metabolism
  • Female
  • Fetus
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Glucose Clamp Technique
  • Glucose Intolerance / genetics*
  • Glucose Intolerance / metabolism
  • Hyperlipidemias / genetics*
  • Hyperlipidemias / metabolism
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Resistance / genetics
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / pathology
  • Lipolysis / genetics
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Metabolism, Inborn Errors / genetics*
  • Metabolism, Inborn Errors / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Organ Size
  • Pregnancy
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Triglycerides / metabolism


  • Adiponectin
  • Adipoq protein, mouse
  • Insulin
  • Triglycerides
  • Glucose

Supplementary concepts

  • Hypoadiponectinemia