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RBI Colloquium: "Fetal Overgrowth in Maternal Diabetes And Obesity: The Role of the Placenta"

Dec 13th 2022 15:00
dvorana III

We are pleased to invite you to the RBI Colloquium: Fetal Overgrowth in Maternal Diabetes And Obesity: The Role of the Placenta by Professor Gernot Desoye, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Medical University Of Graz, Graz, Austria.

The placenta is interposed between mother and fetus and, hence, is exposed to metabolic disturbances in both compartments. It contributes to fetal overgrowth in diabetes and obesity, characterized by excessive fat accumulation, by providing maternal glucose along a maternal-fetal glucose concentration  gradient.

This is determined by maternal glucose and fetal insulin levels. Fetal hyperinsulinemia not only enhances maternal-to-fetal glucose flux, but also stimulates fat deposition in the fetus and enhances fetal aerobic metabolism. The resulting transient metabolically-induced oxygen deficit is compensated by a range of adaptive response in the feto-placental unit, many of which are stimulated by insulin.

Placental capacity to mount these adaptive responses has a limit, which depends on the period in gestation. In early pregnancy it is small and maternal metabolic changes associated with diabetes and obesity can lead to developmental compromise of the placenta.

Gernot Desoye studied chemistry and received his PhD from the Karl Franzens University in Graz and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute
for Biophysical Chemistry in Gottingen. He currently works at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Medical University of Graz and is a visiting
professor at the University of Copenhagen. For the past 35 years, his research has focused on the mechanisms by which maternal nutrition, obesity and
diabetes affect placental function and fetal development.

He coordinated the FP7 project DALI and has been involved in several other international studies. He is the author of more than 250 scientific articles, which have been cited over 9,500 times. He has received numerous research awards, including the Norbert Freinkel Award from the American Diabetes Association (2017), the Giorgio Pardi Award from the Society of Gynecologic Investigation (USA, 2011) and the Jorgen Pedersen Award from the Diabetic Pregnancy Study Groups of EASD (DPSG) (2008). He serves as an ad-hoc expert on diabetes in pregnancy for the European Parliament.

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