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Insulin Defects Linked to Impaired Female Reproduction

Last Updated: March 05, 2010.

Alterations in insulin signaling in lean, normoglycemic mice are associated with female reproductive defects and less successful pregnancies, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in Endocrinology.

FRIDAY, March 5 (HealthDay News) -- Alterations in insulin signaling in lean, normoglycemic mice are associated with female reproductive defects and less successful pregnancies, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in Endocrinology.

Anindita Nandi, M.D., and colleagues from the Columbia University Medical Center in New York City examined how altered insulin signaling affected female reproduction in three lines of mice with genetic alterations leading to varying degrees of insulin resistance without the accompanying adiposity or hyperglycemia.

The researchers found that the mice had a shorter estrous cycle and aberrant distribution and morphology of ovarian follicles. Although the mice were fertile, they had reduced success in the early progression of gestation, and, even successful pregnancies were associated with lower embryo weights and increased placental calcification.

"Thus, abnormal insulin signaling, independent of adipose tissue mass, adipokine expression levels, and hyperglycemia, can affect parameters of the female hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and pregnancy outcomes," Nandi and colleagues conclude.

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