Vascular and metabolic profiles in offspring born to pregnant mice with metabolic syndrome treated with inositols

Monica Longo, Mesk Alrais, Esther H. Tamayo, Francesca Ferrari, Fabio Facchinetti, Jerrie S. Refuerzo, Sean C. Blackwell, Baha M. Sibai

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10 Scopus citations


Background: Inositols (INOs) supplementation during pregnancy, specifically the combination of myo-inositol (MI) and D-chiro-inositol (DCI), has been reported to improve vascular parameters in women with gestational diabetes mellitus. We demonstrated previously that offspring born to pregnant mice lacking the endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS+/–) gene have hypertension (HTN) as adults and, when fed a high-fat diet (HFD), develop a metabolic syndrome (MS) phenotype. Objective: Our aim was to evaluate whether INOs treatment in pregnancy complicated by MS improves the vascular and metabolic profile in mice offspring programmed in utero to develop HTN and MS. Materials and Methods: Heterozygous eNOS+/– mice fed an HFD manifest a MS phenotype. Female eNOS+/– mice with MS were bred with a wild-type (WT) male. On gestational day 1, pregnant females were randomly allocated to receive either a mixture of INOs (MI/DCI: 7.2/0.18 mg/mL) or water as placebo until delivery. The female offspring obtained were genotyped and categorized as: WT (genetically normal, with eNOS gene) and eNOS+/– offspring (genetically modified, heterozygous for eNOS gene). Both offspring developed in an abnormal uterine environment due to maternal MS. At 9–10 weeks of age, the offspring underwent a glucose tolerance test (GTT) and systolic blood pressure (SBP) measurement. The mice were then sacrificed, and the carotid arteries were isolated for evaluation of vascular responses. Responses to phenylephrine (PE), in the presence and absence of a nonspecific nitric oxide inhibitor (N-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester [L-NAME]), the vasodilator acetylcholine (ACh), and sodium nitroprusside (SNP) were assessed. Results: The GTT showed lower glucose levels in both eNOS+/–INOs (P = .03) and WT-INOs (P = .05) offspring born to MS dams on INOs supplementation compared to offspring born to untreated dams. SBP was higher in eNOS+/– offspring compared to WT (169 ± 7 vs 142 ± 9 mm Hg, respectively, P = .04) and INOs treatment decreased SBP in WT-INOs (110 ± 10 mm Hg, P = .01) but not in eNOS+/–INOs offspring. Maximal (%Max) contractile response to PE was higher in eNOS+/– offspring born to MS dams and was decreased in those born to MS dams treated with INOs (%Max, eNOS+/–, 123 ± 7 vs eNOS+/–INOs, 82 ± 11 mm Hg, P = .007). No differences were seen in PE contractile responses in WT offspring born to MS dams treated or not treated with INOs (WT, 92 ± 4 vs WT-INOs, 75 ± 7). The L-NAME response was decreased in eNOS+/–INOs and WT-INOs offspring compared to untreated ones. The ACh vasorelaxation was impaired in eNOS+/– and WT offspring born to MS dams, and maternal INOs treatment improved offspring vascular relaxation in both offspring (P = .01 and P = .03, respectively). No differences were seen in response to SNP. Conclusion: Inositols supplementation improved glucose tolerance, SBP, and vascular responses in adult eNOS+/– and WT offspring born to dams with MS. Interestingly, WT born to MS dams show an altered vascular profile similar to eNOS+/– offspring and exhibit an improved response to INOs treatment. Our findings suggest that the benefits of INOs treatment are more pronounced in offspring exposed to environmental factors in utero, and less likely in those due to genetic factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279.e1-279.e9
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • blood pressure
  • inositol
  • insulin resistance
  • metabolic syndrome
  • obesity
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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