Pregnancy outcome in the Psammomys obesus gerbil on low- and high-energy diets.
ABSTRACT Diabetes mellitus (DM) during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk for poor reproduction and a high rate of congenital malformations. The gerbil Psammomys obesus is a unique model for nutritionally induced Type 2 DM (T2DM) that enabled us to study the outcome of uncontrolled T2DM during pregnancy.
Female Psammomys on low-energy (LE) or high energy (HE) diet were studied. The blood glucose levels and weights of pregnant animals were determined. The offspring from the different groups were followed-up to weaning.
Most of the HE-diet animals were diabetic (77%). There were no differences in the pregnancy rates in animals on both diets (32.7% in HE vs. 38.3% in LE). Pregnancy of the HE-diet group was longer than the LE-diet group (26.7 vs. 26.1 days), and litter average was reduced (2.7 vs. 3.0). At birth, the offspring of the HE-diet dams weighed less (5.2 vs. 7.2 g) and had smaller crown rump length (4.0 vs. 4.6 cm) These offspring also presented a 1-3 days delay in neuro-developmental parameters (first turn over, hair appearance, eye-opening and response to noise). However, from the fourth week of life they became diabetic, and from the third week they weighed more than the LE offspring.
HE-diet caused diabetes, maternal complications and altered reproduction in Psammomys animals. The offspring of diabetic Psammomys presented birth weight and length changes as well as developmental delay.