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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Diabetes and Endocrinology - Gastroenterology and Hepatology - Obstetrics - Pediatrics and Child Health - Physiology

Postnatal Pancreatic Islet ß Cell Function and Insulin Sensitivity at Different Stages of Lifetime in Rats Born with Intrauterine Growth Retardation
Published: Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Author: Qingxin Yuan et al.

by Qingxin Yuan, Lu Chen, Cuiping Liu, Kuanfeng Xu, Xiaodong Mao, Chao Liu

Epidemiological studies have linked intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) to the metabolic diseases, consisting of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, obesity and coronary artery disease, during adult life. To determine the internal relationship between IUGR and islet ß cell function and insulin sensitivity, we established the IUGR model by maternal nutrition restriction during mid- to late-gestation. Glucose tolerance test and insulin tolerance test(ITT) in vivo and glucose stimulated insulin secretion(GSIS) test in vitro were performed at different stages in IUGR and normal groups. Body weight, pancreas weight and pancreas/body weight of IUGR rats were much lower than those in normal group before 3 weeks of age. While the growth of IUGR rats accelerated after 3 weeks, pancreas weight and pancreas/body weight remained lower till 15 weeks of age. In the newborns, the fasting glucose and insulin levels of IUGR rats were both lower than those of controls, whereas glucose levels at 120 and 180 min after glucose load were significantly higher in IUGR group. Between 3 and 15 weeks of age, both the fasting glucose and insulin levels were elevated and the glucose tolerance was impaired with time in IUGR rats. At age 15 weeks, the area under curve of insulin(AUCi) after glucose load in IUGR rats elevated markedly. Meanwhile, the stimulating index of islets in IUGR group during GSIS test at age 15 weeks was significantly lower than that of controls. ITT showed no significant difference in two groups before 7 weeks of age. However, in 15-week-old IUGR rats, there was a markedly blunted glycemic response to insulin load compared with normal group. These findings demonstrate that IUGR rats had both impaired pancreatic development and deteriorated glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, which would be the internal causes why they were prone to develop type 2 diabetes.