The effect of vascular complications of diabetes mellitus on human umbilical cord tissue and the number of Wharton Jelly's mesenchymal stem cells
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The current study investigated the change in umbilical cord tissue and the number of markers of Wharton's jelly mesenchymal stem cells (WJ-MSC) in pregnant women with gestational diabetes (GDM), with chronic diabetes who developed nephropathy as vascular complication (VC-PGDM), and healthy pregnant women as the control. The umbilical cords (UC) were investigated by the histomorphological method and the number of WJ-MSC were detected by flow-cytometry using the CD90, CD44, CD105, and CD73 markers in Wharton's jelly (WJ) isolated from fresh umbilical cords. The number of positive cells for CD 90, CD44, CD105, and CD73 were found to be elevated in the GDM group, whereas it was significantly diminished in the VC-PGDM group (p = 0.001, p = 0.001, p = 0.001, and p = 0.001). The only histopathological sign in the GDM group were an increased number of pores in the Wharton jelly. Artery wall thickness/cord diamater ratio was increased, which indicates an increase of the artery wall thickness in the VC- PGDM group (p = 0.039 and p = 0.048). The increase in umbilical cord diameter and number of Wharton jelly mesenchymal stem cells in babies of gestational diabetic mothers was considered as an effect of macrosomia seen in babies of mothers with gestational diabetes. Vasculopathy, a long-term complication of diabetes, is known to affect all tissues by causing marked lower perfusion and hypoxia, as well as a decrease in the MSC number in our study.