Author(s): Damasceno DC, Volpato GT, de Mattos Paranhos Calder, Cunha Rudge MV
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Abstract A considerable amount of clinical and experimental evidence now exists suggesting the involvement of free radical-mediated oxidative processes in the pathogenesis of diabetic complications. If the diabetic state is associated with a generalized increase in oxidative stress, it might well be reflected in the alterations in embryonic and fetal development during pregnancy. In the present study, incidence of the malformed fetuses, biochemical parameters and antioxidant system activity of streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic pregnant rats was investigated and the results obtained were compared with those of the control group (non-diabetic). Virgin female Wistar rats were injected with 40 mg/kg streptozotocin (STZ) before mating. All the females were killed on Day 21 of pregnancy and the fetuses were analyzed. A maternal blood sample was collected by venous puncture and the maternal liver was removed for biochemical measurement. The diabetic dams presented hyperglycemia, hyperlipemia, hypertriglyceridemia, hypercholesterolemia, hyperuricemia, decreased reduced glutathione (GSH), hepatic glycogen and superoxide dismutase (SOD) determinations. There was an increased incidence of skeletal and visceral malformation in fetuses from diabetic rats. Our findings suggest that oxidative stress occurs in the diabetic pregnant state, which might promote maternal homeostasis alterations. These diabetic complications might be a contributory factor to conceptus damage causing embryonic death (abortion/miscarriage) or the appearance of malformations in the fetuses of diabetic dams. Antioxidant treatment of women with diabetes may be important in future attempts to prevent congenital malformations. Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science B.V.
This article was published in Anim Reprod Sci
and referenced in Bioenergetics: Open Access