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Effect of the steroid hormones pregesterone and estriol on the proliferation of RINm5F cells - an in vitro model for the study of beta cell physiology in pregnancy

Grant number: 15/20055-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2016
Effective date (End): July 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Physiology
Principal researcher:Anna Karenina Azevedo Martins
Grantee:Leticia Rodrigues Santos
Home Institution: Escola de Artes, Ciências e Humanidades (EACH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


During pregnancy occur great adjustments on maternal organism. The carbohydrate metabolism is one of the most affected aspects. Significant changes are observed on the insulin sensitivity, however the variations of glycemia are normally slight, because of the plasticity of pancreatic beta-cells. Nevertheless, evidences suggest that high concentrations of estrogens and progestogens in pregnancy could contribute to the insufficient adaptation of insulin secretion in contrast to the increased demand for this hormone, leading to the development of gestational diabetes (GD). Our group showed that progesterone (PG) induces death of pancreatic beta-cells, by apoptosis, and its effect may be potentiated by 17b-oestradiol. Although PG can to promote death of beta-cells, in others studies was observed the proliferative effect of this hormone on this cell type, as also in breast tumor cells. Others authors, however, have shown that PG caused inhibition of cell proliferation in human uterine tissue. Thus, since little is known about the effects of steroid hormones on the physiology of beta-cell in pregnancy, this project aims to study the RINm5F cell proliferation kinetics treated with steroid hormones: PG and estriol. From the results of this project, it is expected to contribute to the understanding of the effects of steroid hormones on the physiology of beta-cells and their interaction during pregnancy.