The effect of maternal diabetes on fetal pancreatic islets was investigated before, however an extensive and detailed quantitative immunocytochemical investigation was not found. Therefore, this investigation was conducted to examine the effect of gestational diabetes on the morphology of fetal rat islets. Sections were stained with anti-insulin (B cells) antibodies and were used for structural study. The absolute number of stained B cells per islet of the diabetic group was not significantly different from that of the control group. The B cell volume density was significantly lower in the diabetic group, while islet volume density, islet diameter, islet volume and absolute islet cell number were significantly greater in diabetic group. The nuclear diameter and volume of B cell were not significantly different in the diabetic group. The results obtained from this study demonstrated that maternal diabetes induces fetal islet hypertrophy and B cell hyperplasia. They further showed that maternal diabetes results in a decrease of fetal islet insulin content.
03 - 07 May 2008
European Society of Endocrinology