Diabetes and Pregnancy

by Tore Henriksen and Jens Bollerslev Group


STORK cohort study focuses on nutritional, metabolic, neuron-endocrine and vascular aspects of the interplay between the mother and child with regard to the growth and development of the fetus. The mother’s metabolic status is investigated by different parameters: Overweight/obesity endocrine and inflammatory parameters, and plasma levels of lipids and glucose.

STORK placenta-study.

Placenta is the most important organ of the pregnancy and directs both maternal physiology and fetal development. Human in vivo-studies
of placenta function has been difficult to perform due to serious methodological limitations. We have recently established a method (”The 4 vessel sampling method”) which makes it possible to perform such investigations in the STORK placenta-project. We are here studying transfer
of nutrition (glucose, lipids and amino acids) from mother to fetus.

Neogenesis of capillaries and growth of placenta.

Normal growth of placenta is dependent on angiogenesis. There are some indications that the fetus in itself in part directs this process and thus influences the nutritional supply to itself. We are studying this in an in vitro model for angiogenesis.

Pre-eclampsia – factors in placenta affecting the function of vascular endothelial cells.
This project is linked to subprojects of STORK placenta-study. ”The 4 vessel sampling method” is investigating factors from placenta which interfers with endothelial cell function in the mother. Disturbances in endothelial function may lead to high blood pressure in the mother and negative influences on placenta function and the development of the fetus.

Fit for delivery – study of the importance of exercise and nutrition for pregnancy outcome.
A randomized clinical intervention study in which the participants receive exercise and nutrition advice (Kristiansand). The end points: Maternell weight gain, body composition, birth weight and details of delivery are registered to evaluate the effect of intervention.

SOFUS (Stress experience of the parents by ultrasound investigation during pregnancy). The cohorte study investigates psychological stress in expecting parents in which fetuses have fetal

abnormalities and compare to a control group. We measure psychometric and endocrine variables
in the pregnant woman and circulatory data in the fetus by ultrasound.


The fetal liver has a central role in energy and nutritional metabolism. The aim of this study is to learn how the blood flow from placenta distributes to the liver and heart (ducus venosus) of the fetus in different stages of the fetal life and relationship to the mother’s nutritional intake.