Gestational diabetes mellitus occurs only during pregnancy, and usually disappears shortly after delivery. Although, GDM is a common disorder, its pathophysiology is not well understood. Impaired placental function is probably a contributing factor as the placenta hinders insulin signaling and produce increased levels of cytokines that affect placental transport and metabolism of glucose and lipids. This in turn negatively impacts on fetal growth and development with significantly increased risk of a number of short-and long-term adverse consequences for the fetus, and the most significant of which is a predisposition to the development of metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes. This article will describe placental changes in gestational diabetes related to glucose and lipids following placental insulin and cytokines dysfunction, and subsequent effects on the offspring development.
Keywords: Diabetes, gestation, glucose, receptors, lipids, insulin, cytokines.