Elevated galectin-3 in women with gestational diabetes mellitus, a new surrogate for cardiovascular disease in women

Yeela Talmor-Barkan, Chava Chezar-Azerrad, Boris Kruchin, Dorit Leshem-Lev, Amos Levi, Eran Hadar, Ran Kornowski, Kinneret Tenenbaum-Gavish, Avital Porter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is associated with future cardiovascular morbidity and recognized as a women-specific risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The mechanisms for this association are not well established. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the cardiovascular-related biomarkers, galectin-3 (Gal-3) and protein convertase subtilisin/kexin (PCSK) type 9, in women with GDM. Methods Blood samples were drawn in the third trimester from 31 women diagnosed with GDM and from 35 women with normal pregnancies. Blood levels of Gal-3 and PCSK-9 were measured using a quantitative sandwich enzyme immunoassay. In addition, we measured Gal-3 levels in 24 pregnant women in the first trimester who later developed GDM and in 36 healthy controls. Continuous variables were compared using student’s t-test and categorical variables by chi-square/fisher’s exact tests. Results We found increased levels of Gal-3 in women diagnosed with GDM compared to women without GDM (124.6±32% versus control; pv = 0.001). Furthermore, we demonstrated elevated levels of Gal-3 during the first trimester among women who later developed GDM compared with women who did not develop any gestational morbidity (125.7±32% versus control; pv = 0.004). Third-trimester levels of PCSK-9 did not differ between women with and without GDM (560±45ng/mL versus 553±33ng/mL; pv = 0.4). Conclusions The results suggest a possible mechanism that may link GDM to the future increased cardiovascular risk in these patients. Additionally, increased Gal-3 levels during the first trimester may suggest a new early predictor for GDM.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0234732
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Talmor-Barkan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Dive into the research topics of 'Elevated galectin-3 in women with gestational diabetes mellitus, a new surrogate for cardiovascular disease in women'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this