Foetal Congenital heart defects associated with mother’s diabetes type 2

Emobileclinic Researchers’ corner

Emobileclinic Reporter: Dr. Tomi Orungbe

Women with Type 2 diabetes mellitus may give birth to a baby with congenital heart defect as revealed in a study. The lead author Yanqing WuX and colleagues from Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, Baltimore, MD ” induces congenital heart defects in murine embryos by increasing oxidative stress, endoplasmic reticulum stress and apoptosis” in a mouse.

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According to center for disease and control ”congenital heart defects (CHDs) are the most common type of birth defect .As medical care and treatment have advanced, babies with a CHD are living longer and healthier lives.CHDs are present at birth and can affect the structure of a baby’s heart and the way it works. They can affect how blood flows through the heart and out to the rest of the body. CHDs can vary from mild (such as a small hole in the heart) to severe (such as missing or poorly formed parts of the heart). About 1 in 4 babies born with a heart defect has a critical CHD (also known as critical congenital heart disease).Babies with a critical CHD need surgery or other procedures in the first year of life”.

 The researchers used mouse  in the study as published on American Journal of Obstetric & Gynecology where they  grouped the female mice into two. One was fed with high – fat diet. This also means that highly fat food should be avoided in pregnancy. Fat constituted 60% of the mice diet, while the other group was fed with 10% of fat .After 15 weeks, the highly fat fed mice ” showed characteristics of maternal type 2 diabetes mellitus”. The researchers went ahead to consummate the two groups with a health mice without high fat . ”At E12.5, embryonic hearts were harvested to determine the levels of lipid peroxides and superoxide, ER stress markers, cleaved caspase 3 and 8, and apoptosis. E17.5 embryonic hearts were harvested for the detection of congenital heart defect formation using India Ink vessel patterning and histological examination,” they said.

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 Their results show that maternal type 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus are strongly associated with high rates of severe structural birth defects, including congenital heart defects. The authors concluded that ”similar to those observations in type 1 diabetic embryopathy, maternal type 2 diabetes mellitus causes heart defects in the developing embryo manifested with oxidative stress, endoplasmic reticulum stress, and excessive apoptosis in heart cells”.


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