Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 246, Issue 3, pp 125–132 | Cite as

Pancreatic islet cell function in oral contraception, pregnancy and lactation - a review

  • W. J. Malaisse
  • C. J. Hubinont
  • G. Marynissen


The changes in pancreatic B-cell function associated with oral contraception, pregnancy and lactation in either normal or mildly diabetic rats are briefly reviewed. Emphasis is placed on the long-term regulation of B-cell secretory activity by several environmental factors known to be operative in these situations. Such factors may affect not only the activity of key enzymes (e.g. adenylate cyclase and protein kinases) involved in stimulus-secretion coupling, but also the islet content of essential coupling agents (e.g. calcium). The effect of pregnancy and lactation upon islet function appears to be itself modulated by changes in the secretory potential of the endocrine pancreas, such as those resulting from a partial destruction of B-cells by cytotoxic agents.

Key words

Islet function Insulin secretion Pregnancy Lactation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. J. Malaisse
    • 1
  • C. J. Hubinont
    • 1
  • G. Marynissen
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Experimental MedicineBrussels Free UniversityBrusselsBelgium

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