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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2019 Mar 1;104(3):697-706. doi: 10.1210/jc.2018-01119.

Circulating Adrenomedullin Is Elevated in Gestational Diabetes and Its Role in Impaired Insulin Production by β-Cells.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, Texas.



Defective pancreatic β-cell adaptation in pregnancy plays an important role in the pathophysiology of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), but the molecular basis remains unclear. Objectives of this study were to determine if circulating levels of adrenomedullin (ADM) in women with GDM are elevated and to assess the effects of ADM on insulin synthesis and secretion by human pancreatic β-cells.


A stable gene product of ADM precursor, midregional pro-adrenomedullin (MR-proADM), was measured in plasma of pregnant women with normal glucose tolerance (NGT, n = 10) or GDM (n = 11). The β-Lox5 cell line, derived from human pancreatic β-cells, was transduced with homeodomain transcription factor pancreatic-duodenal homeobox (PDX) factor 1 (PDX1) encoding lentiviral vector and treated with different doses of ADM. mRNA for insulin, ADM, and its receptor components in β-Lox5 cells and insulin in media were measured.


Plasma MR-proADM levels were significantly higher in GDM compared with patients with NGT. Pancreatic β-Lox5 cells express mRNA for insulin, ADM, and its receptor components. PDX1 transduction and cell-cell contact synergistically promote β-Lox5 cells insulin mRNA and secretion. Furthermore, ADM dose-dependently inhibited mRNA and secretion of insulin in β-Lox5 cell aggregates. These inhibitory effects were blocked by ADM antagonist ADM22-52, cAMP-dependent protein kinase A inhibitor KT5720, and Erk inhibitor PD98059, but not by PI-3K the inhibitor wortmannin.


Circulating ADM concentrations were elevated in pregnant women with GDM. ADM suppresses insulin synthesis and secretion by pancreatic β-cells in vitro. Thus, increased circulating ADM may contribute to the defective adaptation of β-cells in diabetic pregnancies, and blockade of ADM actions with its antagonists may improve β-cell functions.

[Available on 2019-10-31]

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