Impact of gestational diabetes mellitus in the maternal-to-fetal transport of nutrients

João Ricardo Araújo*, Elisa Keating, Fátima Martel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a metabolic disorder prevalent among pregnant women. This disease increases the risk of adverse perinatal outcomes and diseases in the offspring later in life. The human placenta, the main interface between the maternal and fetal blood circulations, is responsible for the maternal-to-fetal transfer of nutrients essential for fetal growth and development. In this context, the aim of this article is to review the latest advances in the placental transport of macro and micronutrients and how they are affected by GDM and its associated conditions, such as elevated levels of glucose, insulin, leptin, inflammation, and oxidative stress. Data analyzed in this article suggest that GDM and its associated conditions, particularly high levels of glucose, leptin, and oxidative stress, disturb placental nutrient transport and, consequently, fetal nutrient supply. As a consequence, this disturbance may contribute to the fetal and postnatal adverse health outcomes associated with GDM.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Diabetes Reports
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015


  • Fetal programming
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Nutrients
  • Placenta
  • Transport


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