Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of maternal type 1 diabetes on the structure and function of the embryonic and neonatal mouse heart.
Methods: Type 1 diabetes was induced in female C57BL6/J mice using streptozotocin. Embryonic (n = 105) and neonatal hearts (n = 46) were examined using high-frequency ultrasound (US) and a cohort of E18.5 (n = 34) and 1-day-old pup hearts (n = 27) underwent histological examination.
Results: Global cardiac hypertrophy in late gestation (E18.5) was evident on US in the diabetic group compared to controls with increased interventricular septal (IVS) thickness (0.44 ± 0.08 mm vs 0.36 ± 0.08 mm, P < .05) and increased left ventricular wall thickness (0.38 ± 0.04 mm vs 0.29 mm ± 0.05, P < .01). Isovolumetric relaxation time was initially prolonged in the diabetic group but resolved by E18.5 to control values. Histological examination at E18.5 demonstrated increased transverse measurements (2.42 ± 0.72 mm/g vs 1.86 ± 0.55 mm/g, P < .05) and increased IVS thickness (0.64 ± 0.20 mm/g vs 0.43 ± 0.15 mm/g, P < .05) in diabetic embryos compared to control embryos.
Conclusion: Maternal hyperglycemia has severe effects on offspring with evidence of cardiac impairment and cardiac hypertrophy in the embryo. These effects persisted in the 1-day old but attenuated in the 1-week old suggesting cardiac remodeling after the hyperglycemic milieu of pregnancy is removed