Tacrolimus in the prevention of adverse pregnancy outcomes and diabetes-associated embryopathies in obese and diabetic mice

Ahmad J. H. Albaghdadi, Melanie A. Hewitt, Samantha M. Putos, Michael Wells, Terence R. S. Ozolinš, Frederick W. K. Kan
Journal of Translational Medicine2017
Background: T2DM is a high-risk pregnancy with adverse fetal and maternal outcomes including repeated miscar- riages and fetal malformations. Despite the established association between placental insufficiency and poor mater- nal Th1-adaptability to the development of pregnancy complications in T2DM, there have been no established data to assess benefits of pre-pregnancy immunosuppression relative to gestational outcomes in T2DM. We hypothesized that pre-pregnancy macrolide immune suppression can re-establish normal placental development and uterine vascular adaptation in a mouse model of obesity-associated T2DM. Methods: Fetal live birth rate, postnatal variability, mid-gestational uterine and umbilical flow dynamics and certain mor- phological features of spiral artery modification were examined in the New Zealand Obese (NONcNZO10/Ltj) female mice (n = 56) weaned to ages of 32 weeks on a 60% calories/g high-fat diet (also referred to as HFD-dNONcNZO), and which received either tacrolimus (0.1 mg/kg s.c. q2d) , its vehicle (castor oil and ethanol) or metformin (in drinking water 200 mg/ dL p.o. ad libitum). HFD-BALBc-Rag2/IL2-gc female mice (n = 24) were used as HFD-immunodeficient controls. Results: Treatment of the HFD-dNONcNZO female mice with tacrolimus improved live birth rates and postnatal viability scores (p < 0.01), normalized OGTT (p < 0.001), inhibited fetal malformation rates, restored morphology of spiral arterial modification; and improved uterine arterial and umbilical blood flow (p < 0.01). Placental production of TNFαand IL16 in the tacrolimus-treated HFD-dNONcNZO dams were restored to non-diabetic levels and the treat- ment resulted in the inhibition of aberrant monocyte/macrophage activation during pregnancy in the HFD-dNONc- NZO dams. Conclusions: Our present data suggest a casual association between chronic maternal overnutrition and aberrancy in the maternal Th1-immune maladaptation to pregnancy and defective spiral artery modification, placental insuf- ficiency and adverse fetal outcomes in the T2DM subjects. Further safety studies into the use of tacrolimus in the pre-pregnancy glycemic control may be beneficial. Keywords:
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