Glucose metabolism in pregnancy and embryogenesis

Manuel Doblado, Kelle H. Moley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: It has been known for decades that diabetic women have somewhat decreased fertility and that their offspring have an increased risk of being born with developmental abnormalities. We review results from studies examining the impact of maternal hyperglycemia and diabetes on oocyte and early embryo development. We focus on the effects of the maternal milieu on metabolism, cell signaling and the regulation of glucose-transporter expression in the developing oocyte and embryo. RECENT FINDINGS: Offspring of diabetic mothers have metabolic disease at higher rates than can be explained by genetic inheritance alone. Oocytes from hyperglycemic animals display several abnormalities and are of lower quality than oocytes from control animals. There appears to be a decrease in glucose transport in embryos exposed to a hyperglycemic environment, which may lead to programmed cell death. SUMMARY: Maternal hyperglycemia and diabetes have detrimental effects on the developing embryo at several stages of development. Although the exact pathophysiology of the developmental defects seen in infants born to diabetic mothers remains unclear, the role of glucose transport and regulation seems to play a critical role in early growth and development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)488-493
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Glucose metabolism
  • Glucose transport
  • Maternal diabetes
  • Maternal hyperglycemia


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