Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

The effect of maternal diabetes on adipose tissue cellularity in man and rat

  • 66 Accesses

  • 19 Citations

Summary

It is well recognised that the newborn of diabetic mothers may be overweight and obese, presumably due to excessive glucose and insulin levels in the fetus. Since recent evidence indicates that the number of fat cells is established early in life, we studied the effect of intrauterine hyperglycaemia and hyperinsulinaemia on adipose tissue cellularity. Six men (age range 21–26 years) and six women (age range 18–24 years) were investigated. Their weights at birth generally exceeded the average value by 2 S.D. As a group they were not obese at the time of the investigation and neither total number of fat cells, average cell size nor body fat differed significantly from controls of the same age. There was no correlation between the number of fat cells and the weight at birth. The adipose tissue cellularity in the offspring of alloxan-diabetic rats (AX) and in controls (C) of equal weight was also studied. When sacrificed (after 40 days) body weights and the weights of the epididymal and retroperitoneal fat pads were similar in the AX and C groups. However, the number of fat cells of the retroperitoneal fat pad was significantly increased in the AX group, while the cell size was slightly diminished. Cell data of the epididymal fat pads were not significantly different. The results indicate that excessive glucose and insulin levels in utero may influence the number of fat cells, but, in man, they do not seem to lead to a permanent hyperplasia of the adipose tissue.

References

  1. 1.

    Knittle, J.L., Hirsch, J.: Effect of early nutrition on the development of rat epididymal fat pads: Cellularity and metabolism. J. clin. Invest. 47, 2091–2098 (1968)

  2. 2.

    Björntorp, P., Sjöström, L.: The number and size of adipose tissue fat cells in relation to metabolism, in human obesity. Metabolism 20, 703–713 (1971)

  3. 3.

    Brook, C.G.D.: Evidence for a sensitive period in adipose-cell replication in man. Lancet 1972 II, 624–627

  4. 4.

    Hirsch, J., Han, P.W.: Cellularity of rat adipose tissue: Effects of growth, starvation, and obesity. J. Lipid Bes. 10, 77–82 (1969)

  5. 5.

    Lemonnier, D.: Effect of age, sex, and site on the cellularity of the adipose tissue in mice and rats rendered obese by a high-fat diet. J. clin. Invest. 51, 2907–2915 (1972)

  6. 6.

    Therriault, D.G., Mellin, D.B.: Cellularity of adipose tissue in cold-exposed rats and the calorigenic effect of norepinephrine. Lipids 6, 486–491 (1971)

  7. 7.

    Karam, J.H., Grodsky, G.M., Forsham, P.H.: Excessive insulin response to glucose in obese subjects as measured by immunochemical assay. Diabetes 12, 197–204 (1963)

  8. 8.

    Kazdova, L., Vrana, A.: Insulin and adipose tissue cellularity. Horm. Metab. Res. 2, 117–118 (1970)

  9. 9.

    Vost, A., Hollenberg, C.H.: Effects of diabetes and insulin on DNA synthesis in rat adipose tissue. Endocrinology 87, 606–610 (1970)

  10. 10.

    Salans, L.B., Zarnowski, M.J., Segel, R.: Effect of insulin upon the cellular character of rat adipose tissue. J. Lipid Res. 13, 616–623 (1972)

  11. 11.

    Angervall, L., Björntorp, P., Martinsson, A.: Lipids in newborn of alloxan-diabetic rats. Diabetes 14, 724–728 (1965)

  12. 12.

    Picon, L.: Effect of insulin on growth and biochemical composition on the rat fetus. Endocrinology 81, 1419–1421 (1967)

  13. 13.

    Osier, M.: Body fat of newborn infants of diabetic mothers. Acta Endocr. (Kbh.) 34, 277–286 (1960)

  14. 14.

    Karlberg, P., Engström, I., Lichtenstein, H., Svennberg, I.: The development of children in a Swedish Urban Community. A prospective longitudinal study. III. Physical growth during the first three years of life. Acta paediat. scand. Suppl. 187, 48 (1968)

  15. 15.

    Hales, C.N., Randle, P.J.: Immunoassay of insulin with insulin antibody precipitate. Lancet 1963 I, 200

  16. 16.

    Levin, K., Linde, S.: Determination of glucose in blood, cerebrospinal fluid and urine with a new glucose-oxidase reagent. J. Swed. Med. Ass. 59, 3016–3036 (1962)

  17. 17.

    Cramér, K., Isaksson, B.: An evaluation of the Theorell method for the determination of total serum cholesterol. Scand. J. clin. Lab. Invest. 11, 213–216 (1959)

  18. 18.

    Carlson, L.A.: Determination of serum glycerides. Acta Soc. Med. upsalien. 64, 208–213 (1959)

  19. 19.

    Moore, F.D., Olesen, K.H., McMurry, J.D., Parker, H.V., Ball, M.R., Boyden, C.M.: The body cell mass and its supporting environment. Philadelphia: Saun-ders 1963

  20. 20.

    Sköldborn, H., Arvidsson, B., Andersson, M.: A new whole body monitoring laboratory. In: Proceedings of the Sixth International Nordic Meeting on Clinical Physics. Acta radiol. (Stockh.) Suppl. 313, 233 (1972)

  21. 21.

    Lindholm, B.: Body cell mass during long-term treatment with cortisone and anabolic steroids in asthmatic subjects. Acta Endocr. (Kbh.) 55, 222–239 (1967)

  22. 22.

    Berg, K., Isaksson, B.: Body composition and nutrition of school children with cerebral palsy. In: Berg, K.: Adaption in cerebral palsy of body composition, nutrition and physical working capacity at school age. Acta paediat. scand. Suppl. 204, 41 (1970)

  23. 23.

    Sjöström, L., Björntorp, P., Vrana, J.: Microscopic fat cell size measurements on frozen-cut adipose tissue in comparison with automatic determinations of osmium-fixed fat cells. J. Lipid Res. 12, 521–530 (1971)

  24. 24.

    Hirsch, J., Goldrick, R.B.: Serial studies on themetabolism of human adipose tissue. I. Lipogenesis and free fatty acid uptake and release in small aspirated samples of subcutaneous fat. J. clin. Invest. 43, 1776–1792 (1964)

  25. 25.

    Björntorp, P., Berchtold, P., Tibblin, G.: Insulin secretion in relation to adipose tissue in men. Diabetes 20, 65–70 (1971)

  26. 26.

    Sjöström, L., Smith, U., Krotkiewski, M., Björntorp, P.: Cellularity in different regions of adipose tissue in young men and women. Metabolism 21, 1143–1153 (1972)

  27. 27.

    Lindberg, W., Natvig, H., Rygh, A., Svendsen, K.: Høyde og vektundesøkelser hos voksene menn og kvinner. T. norske Laegeforen. 76, 361–368 (1956)

  28. 28.

    Pedersen, J., Osler, M.: Hyperglycemia as the cause of characteristic features of the foetus and newborn of diabetic mothers. Dan. med. Bull. 8, 78–83 (1961)

  29. 29.

    Berglund, G., Björntorp, P., Sjöström, L., Smith, U.: The effect of early malnutrition in man on body composition and adipose tissue cellularity at adult age. Acta med. scand., in press (1974)

  30. 30.

    Goldrick, R.B., McLoughlin, G.M.: Lipolysis and lipogenesis from glucose in human fat cells of different sizes. J. clin. Invest. 49, 1213–1223 (1970)

  31. 31.

    Sjöström, L.: Adult human adipose tissue cellularity and metabolism with special reference to obesity and fatty acid synthesis de novo. Acta med. seand. Suppl. 544 (1972)

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Björntorp, P., Enzi, G., Karlsson, K. et al. The effect of maternal diabetes on adipose tissue cellularity in man and rat. Diabetologia 10, 205–209 (1974). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00423036

Download citation

Key words

  • Diabetes
  • adipose tissue
  • alloxan
  • cell size
  • cell numbe