Vitamin E Supplement Protects Against Gestational Diabetes Mellitus in Mice Through nuclear factor-erythroid factor 2-related factor 2/heme oxygenase-1 Signaling Pathway

Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2023 Mar 1:16:565-574. doi: 10.2147/DMSO.S397255. eCollection 2023.


Background: Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is the most common pregnant disorder worldwide. In this study, we aimed to explore whether vitamin E (VE) treatment alone could protect against GDM in a mouse model.

Methods: 6-week-old C57BL/6J female mice were fed on high-fat diet for two weeks and continued with high-fat diet after pregnancy to induce GDM. The pregnant mice were orally administrated with 2.5, 25 or 250 mg/kg VE twice per day during pregnancy together with high-fat diet. Oral glucose tolerance test, insulin amounts, oxidative stress and inflammation were then measured.

Results: Only 250 mg/kg VE could improve glucose tolerance and insulin level in pregnant mice. VE (250 mg/kg) effectively inhibited GDM-induced hyperlipidemia, and secretion of inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6. VE also significantly ameliorated maternal oxidative stress at the late stage of pregnancy, and also improved reproductive outcomes, including increasing the litter size and birth weight in GDM mice. Moreover, VE also activated GDM-reduced nuclear factor-erythroid factor 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) / heme oxygenase-1 signaling pathway in the maternal liver tissues of GDM mice.

Conclusion: Our data clearly demonstrated that 250 mg/kg VE twice a day during pregnancy could significantly ameliorate the symptoms of GDM by alleviating oxidative stress, inflammation, hyperglycemia, and hyperlipidemia through Nrf2/HO-1 signaling pathway in GDM mice. Thus, additional VE supplement might be beneficial to GDM.

Keywords: Nrf2; fetus; gestational diabetes mellitus; oxidative stress; vitamin E.

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