Serum progesterone sulfates were evaluated in the etiology of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Serum progesterone sulfates were measured using ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry in four patient cohorts: 1) the Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes study; 2) London-based women of mixed ancestry and 3) U.K.-based women of European ancestry with or without GDM; and 4) 11-13 weeks pregnant women with BMI ≤25 or BMI ≥35 kg/m2 with subsequent uncomplicated pregnancies or GDM. Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) was evaluated in response to progesterone sulfates in mouse islets and human islets. Calcium fluorescence was measured in HEK293 cells expressing transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily M member 3 (TRPM3). Computer modeling using Molecular Operating Environment generated three-dimensional structures of TRPM3. Epiallopregnanolone sulfate (PM5S) concentrations were reduced in GDM (P < 0.05), in women with higher fasting plasma glucose (P < 0.010), and in early pregnancy samples from women who subsequently developed GDM with BMI ≥35 kg/m2 (P < 0.05). In islets, 50 µmol/L PM5S increased GSIS by at least twofold (P < 0.001); isosakuranetin (TRPM3 inhibitor) abolished this effect. PM5S increased calcium influx in TRPM3-expressing HEK293 cells. Computer modeling and docking showed identical positioning of PM5S to the natural ligand in TRPM3. PM5S increases GSIS and is reduced in GDM serum. The activation of GSIS by PM5S is mediated by TRPM3 in both mouse and human islets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)837-852
Number of pages16
Issue number4
Early online date24 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


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