Aim: In diabetes, perinatal morbidity is significantly increased. This may partly be related to functional changes in the foetoplacental vascular bed. In diabetes models, a defect in the cyclo-oxygenase pathway is a common observation. Therefore, we hypothesized that the human foetoplacental circulation of diabetic patients is characterized by dysfunction of the cyclo-oxygenase pathway, as well. Methods: We performed ex-vivo perfusions of isolated placental cotyledons from healthy women (n = 14) and from patients with Type 1 diabetes (n - 9). The contribution of cyclo-oxygenase products to foetoplacental vascular tone was quantified by measuring the response to the cyclo-oxygenase inhibitor indomethacin. Results: Baseline foetoplacental arterial pressure was comparable between controls and diabetic women (mean ± SEM, 21.7 ± 1.2 vs. 24.4 ± 2.0 mmHg). Maximum foetoplacental arterial pressure at highest dose of indomethacin was 32.8 ± 3.0 mmHg in controls vs. 27.3 ± 2.3 mmHg in diabetic women. The indomethacin-induced increase in pressure was reduced in diabetes (2.9 ± 0.7 vs. 11.2 ± 2.4 mmHg in controls, P = 0.01). Conclusions: Under baseline conditions, the net effect of all cyclo-oxygenase products in the foetoplacental vascular bed is vasodilation. In diabetes, this vasodilator effect seems significantly impaired.

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Diabetic Medicine: journal of diabetes UK
Department of Gynaecology & Obstetrics

Bisseling, T.M, Wouterse, B, Steegers, E.A.P, Elving, L, Russel, F.G.M, & Smits, P. (2005). Dysfunction of the cyclo-oxygenase pathway in the foetoplacental circulation in Type 1 diabetes mellitus. Diabetic Medicine: journal of diabetes UK, 22(4), 503–506. doi:10.1111/j.1464-5491.2005.01437.x