Experimental model of unpredictable maternal stress and diabetes risk of offspring: An immunohistochemical study


ACTA HISTOCHEMICA, vol.124, no.3, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 124 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.acthis.2022.151878
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aerospace Database, Communication Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Metadex, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Immunohistochemistry, Pancreas, Pathology, Unpredictable maternal stress, GLUCOSE-HOMEOSTASIS, INSULIN-RESISTANCE, CELL, PHYSIOLOGY
  • Süleyman Demirel University Affiliated: Yes


The effect of stress on the occurrence of diabetes mellitus (DM) is commonly reported in recent studies. Maternal stress may have a negative effect on the later life of offspring. However, most studies only investigated long-term intrauterine stress on behavioral, emotional, psychological, and immunological disorders of offspring. The relationship between maternal stress and DM occurrence in the later life period of offspring is not known. This rat model study aimed to evaluate the susceptibility of offspring to DM after exposure to intrauterine stress. The purpose of this study is to examine serum glucose levels of mothers and offspring exposed to maternal stress and to evaluate pancreatic tissues pathologically and immunohistochemically. Twelve, Wistar Albino female rats were equally divided into two groups: controls and maternal stress groups. Normal routine conditions were applied to the control group without any stress. The pregnant rats in the maternal stress group were exposed to chronic unpredictable stressors throughout the 21-day gestation. One female and one male offspring and mothers from each term delivery were randomly selected and euthanatized at the 35th day. During the necropsy, blood and pancreatic tissue samples were collected from both mothers and pups. High serum glucose levels from mothers and offspring in the maternal stress group and the control group were compared. Additionally, histopathological examinations assessed the increased cell degeneration in mother rats and offspring. Immunohistochemical examinations revealed decreased insulin, amylin, and insulin receptor expressions and slightly increased glucagon expression in Langerhans islet cells in the maternal stress group. These results indicated that maternal stress may be a predisposing factor for DM in both mothers and offspring in their later life periods.