Folic acid supplementation in a mouse model of diabetes in pregnancy alters insulin sensitivity in female mice and beta cell mass in offspring

Ei Xia Mussai, Zoe A. Lofft, Ben Vanderkruk, Nicha Boonpattrawong, Joshua W. Miller, Andre Smith, Teodoro Bottiglieri, Angela M. Devlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Epidemiological studies have reported discrepant findings on the relationship between folic acid intake during pregnancy and risk for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). To begin to understand how folic acid impacts metabolic health during pregnancy, we determined the effects of excess folic acid supplementation (5× recommendation) on maternal and fetal offspring metabolic health. Using a mouse (female C57BL/6J) model of diet-induced diabetes in pregnancy (western diet) and control mice, we show that folic acid supplementation improved insulin sensitivity in the female mice fed the western diet and worsened insulin sensitivity in control mice. We found no unmetabolized folic acid in liver from supplemented mice suggesting the metabolic effects of folic acid supplementation are not due to unmetabolized folic acid. Male fetal (gestational day 18.5) offspring from folic acid supplemented dams (western and control) had greater beta cell mass and density than those from unsupplemented dams; this was not observed in female offspring. Differential sex-specific hepatic gene expression profiles were observed in the fetal offspring from supplemented dams but this differed between western and controls. Our findings suggest that folic acid supplementation affects insulin sensitivity in female mice, but is dependent on their metabolic phenotype and has sex-specific effects on offspring pancreas and liver.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere23200
JournalFASEB Journal
Volume37
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2023
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

Keywords

  • diet
  • fetus
  • folate
  • pancreatic islets
  • sex differences

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