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Maternal blood glucose level and offspring glucose–insulin homeostasis: what is the role of offspring adiposity? – published online 06/10/2020

Francis GA

Ellen C. Francis, Dana Dabelea, Brandy M. Ringham, Katherine A. Sauder, Wei Perng

Maternal blood glucose status during pregnancy is associated with offspring adiposity and metabolic health; however, it is unclear whether offspring adiposity at birth and/or in childhood mediates the association between maternal glucose and offspring glucose–insulin homeostasis. In this issue, Francis et al ( report that higher maternal HbA1c was associated with higher fasting glucose and lower insulin sensitivity in offspring. Further, this relationship was not mediated by offspring adiposity at birth, at age 4–7 years, or cumulatively across the two life stages. The authors suggest that the effect of maternal glucose on offspring glucose–insulin homeostasis may operate through alternate pathways, such as fetal programming of the adipoinsular axis or pancreatic beta cell development and function. This highlights the importance of the pregnancy period for prevention efforts aimed at improving early childhood metabolic health.

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