Myostatin in the placentae of pregnancies complicated with gestational diabetes mellitus

Peiris, H. N., Lappas, M., Georgiou, H. M., Vaswani, K., Salomon, C., Rice, G. E. and Mitchell, M. D. (2015) Myostatin in the placentae of pregnancies complicated with gestational diabetes mellitus. Placenta, 36 1: 1-6. doi:10.1016/j.placenta.2014.11.006

Author Peiris, H. N.
Lappas, M.
Georgiou, H. M.
Vaswani, K.
Salomon, C.
Rice, G. E.
Mitchell, M. D.
Title Myostatin in the placentae of pregnancies complicated with gestational diabetes mellitus
Journal name Placenta   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1532-3102
Publication date 2015-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.placenta.2014.11.006
Open Access Status
Volume 36
Issue 1
Start page 1
End page 6
Total pages 6
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is characterised by maternal glucose intolerance and insulin resistance during pregnancy. Myostatin, initially identified as a negative regulator of muscle development may also function in the regulation of placental development and glucose uptake. Myostatin expression in placentae of GDM complicated pregnancies is unknown. However, higher myostatin levels occur in placentae of pregnancies complicated with preeclampsia. We hypothesise that myostatin will be differentially expressed in GDM complicated pregnancies.


Myostatin concentrations (ELISA) were evaluated in plasma of presymptomatic women who later developed GDM and compared to plasma of normal glucose tolerant (NGT) women. Furthermore, myostatin protein expression (Western blot) was studied in placentae of pregnant women with GDM (treated with diet or insulin) compared to placentae of NGT women.


No significant difference in myostatin concentration was seen in plasma of pre-symptomatic GDM women compared to NGT women. In placenta significant differences in myostatin protein expressions (higher precursor; p < 0.05and lower dimer: p < 0.005) were observed in GDM complicated compared to NGT pregnancies. Furthermore, placentae of GDM women treated with insulin compared to diet have higher dimer (p < 0.005) and lower precursor (p < 0.05). Compared to lean women, placentae of obese NGT women were lower in myostatin dimer expression (p < 0.05).


Myostatin expression in placental tissue is altered under stress conditions (e.g. obesity and abnormal glucose metabolism) found in pregnancies complicated with GDM. We hypothesise that myostatin is active in these placentae and could affect glucose homoeostasis and/or cytokine production thereby altering the function of the placenta.
Keyword Myostatin
Gestational diabetes mellitus
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online ahead of print 20 Nov 2014

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: UQ Centre for Clinical Research Publications
Official 2016 Collection
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