Epigenetic modifications and gestational diabetes: A Systematic review of published literature

Gunn Helen Moen, Christine Sommer, Rashmi B. Prasad, Line Sletner, Leif Groop, Elisabeth Qvigstad, Kåre I. Birkeland

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: To summarize the current knowledge on epigenetic alterations in mother and offspring subjected to gestational diabetes (GDM) and indicate future topics for research. Design: Systematic review. Methods: We performed extensive searches in PubMed, EMBASE and Google scholar, using a combination of the search terms: GDM, gestational diabetes, epigenetic(s), methylation, histone modification, histone methylation, histone acetylation, microRNA and miRNA. Studies that compared women diagnosed with GDM and healthy controls were included. Two authors independently scanned the abstracts, and all included papers were read by at least two authors. The searches were completed on October 31st, 2016. Results: We identified 236 articles, of which 43 were considered relevant for this systematic review. Studies published showed that epigenetic alterations could be found in both mothers with GDM and their offspring. However, differences in methodology, diagnostic criteria for GDM and populations studied, together with a limited number of published studies and small sample sizes, preclude clear conclusions about the role of epigenetic modifications in transmitting risk from GDM mothers to their offspring. Conclusion: The current research literature suggests that GDM may have impact on epigenetic modifications in the mother and offspring. However, larger studies that include multiple cohorts of GDM patients and their offspring are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R247-R267
JournalEuropean Journal of Endocrinology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes


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