Bile acid metabolism is altered in those with insulin resistance after gestational diabetes mellitus

Negar Maghsoodi, Nicholas Shaw, Gemma F. Cross, Jamshid Alaghband-Zadeh, Anthony S. Wierzbicki, Jonathan Pinkney, Ann Millward, Royce P. Vincent

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Background Bile acids (BAs) are known mediators of glucose metabolism that are altered in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). We hypothesised that post-prandial BA fractions are changed in women with Insulin resistance (IR) after recovery from GDM using homeostatic model assessment (HOMA-IR). Methods 45 women median age 44(31–47) with previous GDM, including 20 with HOMA-IR >2.8 and 25 age-matched controls with HOMA-IR ≤ 2.8 were studied. After an overnight fast, all underwent an oral glucose tolerance test. Blood samples were collected at baseline and every 30 min for 120 min and analysed for glucose on automated platform and for total BAs, their conjugates and fractions using liquid-chromatography tandem mass-spectrometry. Baseline samples were analysed for insulin on automated platform. Delta (Δ) change (difference between baseline and maximal post-prandial response) were calculated. Data is presented as median (IQR). Results Fasting primary and unconjugated BAs were higher in women with HOMA-IR >2.8 vs. those with HOMA-IR ≤ 2.8 [0.24 (0.16–0.33) vs 0.06(0.04–0.22) μmol/L and 0.91(0.56–1.84) μmol/L vs. 0.69(0.32–0.89) μmol/L respectively. ∆ taurine-conjugated BAs was higher in women with HOMA-IR ≤ 2.8 than those with HOMA-IR > 2.8 [0.33(0.20–0.54) vs 0.23(0.13–0.34) μmol/L]. Fasting glucose and non-12α-hydroxylated BAs were negatively correlated in women with HOMA-IR >2.8 (all p 2.8 have altered conjugated and non-12α-hydroxylated fractions of BAs. It remains to be elucidated if the altered BA metabolism is a contributing factor to the pathogenesis or a consequence of GDM.
Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Biochemistry
Early online date30 Nov 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Nov 2018


  • Bile Acids
  • Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
  • Insulin Resistance


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