Maternal, placental and cordonal metallomic profiles in gestational diabetes mellitus†
76 pregnant women, among them 38 affected by gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and 38 control subjects, were recruited at the University Hospital of Padua (Italy). Placenta samples, maternal whole blood and umbilical cord whole blood were collected after delivery and analysed via ICP-MS to determine the metallome, i.e. the whole elemental content. Results were statistically evaluated to evidence the correlation between the elemental concentrations in all samples and the presence of the disease. The results obtained in whole cord blood showed that many elements were correlated with GDM: Ca, Cu, Na, and Zn were present in higher concentration in GDM cord blood than in control samples, whereas Fe, K, Mn, P, Rb, S and Si showed an opposite trend. It was also highlighted that the cord blood from GDM patients exhibited an elemental composition more similar to that of the mother blood compared with the cord blood from control subjects. These results, in part interpreted in the light of the literature, open the possibility to use cord blood as a GDM marker, thus helping to delineate more accurate nutritional guidelines for pregnant women and to explain the biochemical processes occurring in the fetus and placenta during GDM.