Betaine alleviated hepatic and renal injury in diabetic pregnant rats: biochemical and histopathological evidences



Pregnancy is the most intense physiological alteration in energy metabolism that women experience in their lifetime. Liver and kidney are the two most susceptible organs to energy metabolism. Diabetes is well-defined as a syndrome interfering with energy metabolism triggered by impaired blood glucose adjustment. Herein, protective effects of betaine on liver and kidney were evaluated in animal model of diabetic pregnancy.


32 dams were assigned into 4 equal groups: Control (C), Betaine (B, 1.5% w/w of total diet daily), Diabetic pregnancy (D), and Diabetic pregnancy treated with betaine (D + B). After physiological delivery, HbA1c concentration in whole blood, serum hepatic and renal biomarkers such as AST, ALT, ALP, urea and creatinine were measured. Also, liver and kidney tissue samples were examined under a light microscope.


Diabetic pregnancy was found to be accompanied by increased HbA1c level, concentration of hepatic and renal biomarkers in blood samples, and a gamut of alterations such as apoptotic cells, biliary hyperplasia, sinusoidal dilation, basement membrane thickening, and Bowman’s capsule dilation as observed in histopathological sections of the D group. Betaine supplementation significantly decreased AST, ALT, urea and creatinine in the D + B group compared to D group. Also, most of pathologic microscopic alterations were attenuated under betaine treatment in D + B group compared to D group.


Findings of the current paper, for the first time, provided evidence regarding protective effects of betaine on liver and kidney function against maternal diabetes in an animal model of STZ-induced diabetic pregnancy.

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Correspondence to Pouya Salahi.

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All rats were treated humanely and in compliance with the recommendations of Animal Care Committee for the Lorestan University (Khorramabad, Iran) with approval number: LU.ECRA. 2017.4.

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Salahi, P., Rocky, A., Dezfoulian, O. et al. Betaine alleviated hepatic and renal injury in diabetic pregnant rats: biochemical and histopathological evidences. J Diabetes Metab Disord 19, 859–867 (2020).

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  • Diabetic pregnancy
  • Streptozotocin
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Betaine