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Drug could improve pregnancy outcomes in wider range of women with insulin resistance
Date:9/6/2007

identified the molecular mechanism that accounts for metformin's positive effects. They found the drug triggers an important sensor of the energy level of cells, which sets off a chain of reactions that help insulin do its job. Previously it was not known that this sensor molecule was active in early embryos.

Moley hypothesizes that in insulin-resistant women, high levels of insulin and related factors cause their embryos to compensate by shutting down insulin signaling mechanisms. That impairs the early embryos ability to take in glucose at a critical stage of development and can lead to pregnancy failure.

We found that Metformin improves glucose uptake and improves the survival of the early embryo as a result, Moley says. Mouse embryos in a high-insulin environment that were not exposed to Metformin did not survive.

Most miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities. But Moley says this study provides new scientific evidence that miscarriages related to insulin resistance possibly could be avoided through the use of metformin.

This will help physicians know better how to treat these women and reassure them that theyre being correctly treated for their medical problems and that their babies will benefit from that treatment, she says.


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Contact: Diane Duke Williams
williamsdia@wustl.edu
314-286-0111
Washington University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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