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Pathophysiology of GDM

Adiponectin Adiponectin is a novel adipocyte secreting protein hormone discovered in 1995/1996 (Scherer et al., 1995; Nakano et al., 1996; Maeda et al., 1996; Hu et al., 1996; Tsao et al., 2002). Adiponectin is abundant in the circulation of humans, with plasma levels in the microgram per ml range, thus accounting for approximately 0.01% of total plasma protein. Chen et al. (2006) reported that the human placenta produces and secretes adiponectin and that adiponectin and its receptors are differentially regulated by cytokines and their expression altered in women with gestational diabetes mellitus, suggesting that adiponectin may play a role in adapting energy metabolism at the materno-fetal interface. Functions of Adiponectin Although the physiological role of adiponectin is not yet fully determined, but it has been shown that there are a variety of physiological functions induced by adiponectin such as: General functions i. Anti-atherosclerotic action: By inhibiting lipid-laden foam cell formation (Ouchi et al., 2001), and inhibiting the inflammatory adipokine, tumor necrosis factor-┙ (TNF-┙) (Ouchi et al., 2000). ii. Anti-inflammatory action: By inhibiting the phagocytic activity of macrophages and inhibiting the production of TNF-┙ by these macrophages (Yokota et al., 2000). iii. Anti-oxidant action: By stimulating the endothelial cells to produce nitric oxide (NO) (Ouchi et al., 1999). iv. Anti-tumor action: There is a significant in