Scope: Diabetic embryopathy, a consequence of diabetic pregnancy, is associated with increase in embryonic oxidative stress and apoptosis, which lead to severe embryonic damage at early stage of organogenesis.
Methods and results: This study investigated if resveratrol, found in red grapes and blue-berries, may prevent diabetes-induced oxidative stress and apoptosis in embryos and have beneficial effects in diabetic dams. A rodent model of diabetic embryopathy was used. Diabetes was associated with lowered reduced glutathione levels (26.98%), increased total thiol (100.47%) and lipid peroxidation (124.73%) in embryos, and increased blood sugar (384.03%), cholesterol (98.39%) and triglyceride (1025.35%) in diabetic dams. Increased apoptosis (272.20%) was also observed in the embryos of diabetic dams. Administration of resveratrol (100 mg/kg body weight (b.w.)) during pregnancy prevented both oxidative stress and apoptosis in embryos. Resveratrol reduced embryonic maldevelopment by improving embryo weight (41.23%), crown rump length (16.50%) and somite number (11.22%). It further improved the glucose (33.32%) and lipid (cholesterol 41.74%, triglyceride 60.64%) profile of the diabetic dams, which also represents the protective role of resveratrol in diabetes.
Conclusion: Resveratrol was found to prevent embryonic oxidative stress and apoptosis. It also improved glucose and lipid profile of diabetic dams, indicating the beneficial effects in diabetic pregnancy.