Gestational diabetes compromises fetal development and induces a diabetogenic effect in the offspring, including the development of gestational diabetes and the transmission of the effect to the next generation. Changes are not limited to glucose and insulin metabolism, and appear to be modulated by alterations at the hypothalamo-hypophyseal axis. In the present work, serum concentrations are given for the non-protein amino-acids taurine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), both neurotransmitters essential for normal brain development, and for the endogenous neuroprotector carnosine, a known anti-oxydans. Taurine levels are significantly below normal values in mildly diabetic mothers, in their fetal and adult offspring, virgin and pregnant, and in the fetuses of these pregnant offspring. GABA and carnosine levels are at the limit of detection in the diabetic mothers and their offspring at every stage. It is concluded that the low taurine, GABA and carnosine levels in diabetic mothers and their fetuses might compromise the normal structural and functional development of the fetal brain. When adult, these offspring present a deficiency of the circulating levels of these neurotransmitters involved in the hypothalamo-hypophyseal regulation of insulin secretion. This might contribute to the development of impaired glucose tolerance and gestational diabetes, thereby transmitting the effect to the next generation.
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