Gestational diabetes: understanding why foetal blood vessels become damaged and if sulforaphane can help?

Therapeutic potential of sulforaphane in gestational diabetes: Protection of fetal endothelial cells via activation of the Nrf2-Keap1 redox signalling pathway

Giovanni Mann (lead researcher)

King's College London

Start date: 01 January 2013 (Duration 3 years)

It is increasingly common for mothers to develop diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes). If blood glucose levels remain high, damage to blood vessels in both mother and child, results. Understanding whether blood vessels can be protected from damage by vegetable derived supplements, could in future reduce the risk of children developing type 2 diabetes later in life if their mother has gestational diabetes.

Professor Giovanni Mann and Dr Richard Siow have been awarded a 3-year grant to investigate why blood vessels in mothers and foetuses become damaged if the mother has diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes). Diabetes during pregnancy can cause damaging effects called oxidative stress in both mother and baby and increases the mother’s and possibly the offspring’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes later. The team will use umbilical cord cells from mothers with gestational diabetes to explore how a compound contained in broccoli, called sulforaphane, can restore normal blood vessel function and could reduce the risk of children developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Pinpointing the molecules involved in causing damage and protecting against it should help the team develop better ways to protect the unborn foetus from the long-term effects of gestational diabetes.

Project details

Grant amount £206,291
Grant type Project Grant
Start Date 01 January 2013
Duration 3 years
Reference PG/13/1/29801
Status In progress

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