Prenatal Oxygen and Glucose Therapy Normalizes Insulin Secretion and Action in Growth-Restricted Fetal Sheep

Leticia E. Camacho, Melissa A. Davis, Amy C. Kelly, Nathan R. Steffens, Miranda J. Anderson, Sean W. Limesand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Placental insufficiency (PI) lowers fetal oxygen and glucose concentrations, which disrupts glucose-insulin homeostasis and promotes fetal growth restriction (FGR). To date, prenatal treatments for FGR have not attempted to correct the oxygen and glucose supply simultaneously. Therefore, we investigated whether a 5-day correction of oxygen and glucose concentrations in PI-FGR fetuses would normalize insulin secretion and glucose metabolism. Experiments were performed in near-Term FGR fetal sheep with maternal hyperthermia-induced PI. Fetal arterial oxygen tension was increased to normal levels by increasing the maternal inspired oxygen fraction and glucose was infused into FGR fetuses (FGR-OG). FGR-OG fetuses were compared with maternal air insufflated, saline-infused fetuses (FGR-AS) and control fetuses. Prior to treatment, FGR fetuses were hypoxemic and hypoglycemic and had reduced glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS). During treatment, oxygen, glucose, and insulin concentrations increased, and norepinephrine concentrations decreased in FGR-OG fetuses, whereas FGR-AS fetuses were unaffected. On treatment day 4, glucose fluxes were measured with euglycemic and hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps. During both clamps, rates of glucose utilization and production were greater in FGR-AS than FGR-OG fetuses, while glucose fluxes in FGR-OG fetuses were not different than control rates. After 5 days of treatment, GSIS increased in FGR-OG fetuses to control levels and their ex vivo islet GSIS was greater than FGR-AS islets. Despite normalization in fetal characteristics, GSIS, and glucose fluxes, FGR-OG and FGR-AS fetuses weighed less than controls. These findings show that sustained, simultaneous correction of oxygen and glucose normalized GSIS and whole-body glucose fluxes in PI-FGR fetuses after the onset of FGR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberbqac053
JournalEndocrinology (United States)
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022


  • fetal therapy
  • glucose homeostasis
  • intrauterine intervention
  • islets of Langerhans
  • placental insufficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


Dive into the research topics of 'Prenatal Oxygen and Glucose Therapy Normalizes Insulin Secretion and Action in Growth-Restricted Fetal Sheep'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this