Trace elements and cell-mediated immunity in gestational and pre-gestational diabetes mellitus at third trimester of pregnancy


  • Fadia Mahmoud
  • Habib Abul
  • Ali Dashti
  • Waleed Al-Jassar
  • Alexander Omu


Gestational diabetes, Lymphocyte activation, Trace elements


Objective. The aim of the study: To evaluate the correlations betweenZn2+, Cu2+, Mg2+, Se2+ and Cr3+ and alteration in T cell subsetsduring diabetic and normal pregnancy. Methods. The study involved63 women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GD) and 16 pregnantwomen with Type 2 diabetes and 48 healthy, non-pregnant womenwere included as controls. Ten ml of whole venous blood from eachparticipant was analyzed for electrolytes by atomic absorption; totalantioxidant activity, individual enzymatic antioxidants by spectrophotometry;and lymphocyte sub-populations by flow cytometry. Results.There were significant changes in lymphocyte sub-populations: NaïveT cells were decreased and memory T-cells and activated T cells(CD4+HLA-DR+, CD4+CD29+) were increased in diabetes in pregnancy.Zn2+ and Cr3+ deficiency were observed in Type 2 diabeticswith an increase in Cu2+ in all pregnant cohorts. In healthy pregnantsubjects, CD4+-HLA-DR+ was increased in direct proportion to serumMg2+ (p<0.05) and Se2+ (p<0.01). In insulin-treated GD patients,CD4+CD29+ cells were increased proportionally to serum Zn2+(p<0.05) while in diet controlled GD cohort CD45RO+/ CD45RA+ Tcells correlated directly with serum Mg (p<0.05) and Zn2+ (p<0.01)while it correlated inversely with serum Cu2+ (p<0.01). Conclusions.The results of the present study show a correlation between trace elementdeficiency and increased lipid peroxidation in diabetes in pregnancyand lymphocyte activation. Dietary manipulation may, therefore,point to improvement in existing approaches to management ofdiabetes mellitus in pregnancy.


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How to Cite

Mahmoud, F., Abul, H., Dashti, A., Al-Jassar, W., & Omu, A. (2012). Trace elements and cell-mediated immunity in gestational and pre-gestational diabetes mellitus at third trimester of pregnancy. Acta Medica Academica, 41(2), 175–185. Retrieved from



Clinical Science