Espes D, Magnusson L, Caballero-Corbalan J, Schwarcz E, Casas R, Carlsson PO
BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care 10 (6) - [2022-11-00; online 2022-11-10]
Pregnancy entails both pancreatic adaptations with increasing β-cell mass and immunological alterations in healthy women. In this study, we have examined the effects of pregnancy on β-cell function and immunological processes in long-standing type 1 diabetes (L-T1D). Fasting and stimulated C-peptide were measured after an oral glucose tolerance test in pregnant women with L-T1D (n=17) during the first trimester, third trimester, and 5-8 weeks post partum. Two 92-plex Olink panels were used to measure proteins in plasma. Non-pregnant women with L-T1D (n=30) were included for comparison. Fasting C-peptide was detected to a higher degree in women with L-T1D during gestation and after parturition (first trimester: 64.7%, third trimester: 76.5%, and post partum: 64.7% vs 26.7% in non-pregnant women). Also, total insulin secretion and peak C-peptide increased during pregnancy. The plasma protein levels in pregnant women with L-T1D was dynamic, but few analytes were functionally related. Specifically, peripheral levels of prolactin (PRL), prokineticin (PROK)-1, and glucagon (GCG) were elevated during gestation whereas levels of proteins related to leukocyte migration (CCL11), T cell activation (CD28), and antigen presentation (such as CD83) were reduced. In summary, we have found that some C-peptide secretion, that is, an indirect measurement of endogenous insulin production, is regained in women with L-T1D during pregnancy, which might be attributed to elevated peripheral levels of PRL, PROK-1, or GCG.