Pregnancy outcome in the Psammomys obesus gerbil on low- and high-energy diets

Natan Patlas, Meytal Avgil, Ehud Ziv, Asher Ornoy, Eleazar Shafrir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction: Diabetes mellitus (DM) during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk for poor reproduction and a high rate of congenital malformations. The gerbil Psammomys obesus is a unique model for nutritionally induced Type 2 DM (T2DM) that enabled us to study the outcome of uncontrolled T2DM during pregnancy. Methods: Female Psammomys on low-energy (LE) or high energy (HE) diet were studied. The blood glucose levels and weights of pregnant animals were determined. The offspring from the different groups were followed-up to weaning. Results: Most of the HE-diet animals were diabetic (77%). There were no differences in the pregnancy rates in animals on both diets (32.7% in HE vs. 38.3% in LE). Pregnancy of the HE-diet group was longer than the LE-diet group (26.7 vs. 26.1 days), and litter average was reduced (2.7 vs. 3.0). At birth, the offspring of the HE-diet dams weighed less (5.2 vs. 7.2 g) and had smaller crown rump length (4.0 vs. 4.6 cm) These offspring also presented a 1-3 days delay in neuro-developmental parameters (first turn over, hair appearance, eye-opening and response to noise). However, from the fourth week of life they became diabetic, and from the third week they weighed more than the LE offspring. Conclusion: HE-diet caused diabetes, maternal complications and altered reproduction in Psammomys animals. The offspring of diabetic Psammomys presented birth weight and length changes as well as developmental delay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-65
Number of pages8
JournalBiology of the Neonate
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Nutritional diabetes
  • Psammomys obesus


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