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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Fetal rat islet insulin deficiency following maternal administration of streptozotocin.

Pancreatic islets were isolated from the fetuses of normal rats and rats made diabetic by the iv administration of streptozotocin (STZ) on either Day 3 or 5 of pregnancy. Of the rats made diabetic on Day 3, one group also received insulin injections at the appearance of glucosuria. Maternal blood glucose on Day 20 of gestation was significantly different in the diabetic rats (405 +/- 27 mg/dl) from the normal (97 +/- 1 mg/dl) and insulin-treated diabetic rats (69 +/- 9 mg/dl). While fetal weight was significantly decreased in the STZ-treated rats (2.64 +/- 0.13 g vs 3.52 +/- 0.05 g for the control group, P less than 0.005), fetal glucose was significantly higher in the STZ-treated than in normal pups (342 +/- 11 vs 35 +/- 1 mg/dl, P less than 0.005). Both fetal weight and glucose were normalized by insulin treatment: 3.16 +/- 0.18 g and 31 +/- 7 mg/dl, respectively. Insulin release from fetal islets of diabetic dams was blunted after a week in culture both in basal and stimulated conditions. After 2 weeks in culture, there was partial recovery in the insulin response to glucose but it did not equal to that measured in fetal islets from the normal and insulin-treated diabetic rats. These data suggest maternal hyperglycemia severely impairs fetal weight and insulin release from fetal rat islets in vitro, and correction of the hyperglycemia by insulin treatment not only improves fetal weight and glucose concentrations, but it also normalizes insulin release from fetal rat islets in vitro.[1]


  1. Fetal rat islet insulin deficiency following maternal administration of streptozotocin. Hayek, A., Barela, T.D., Wogenrich, F.J., Guardian, C.M. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. (1985) [Pubmed]
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