New study on mice showed that a protein in the pancreas can give some new clues on what causes gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes too. Researchers found that during pregnancy pancreas produces less of menin, a protein that acts like a break on the growth of cells that produce insulin in pancreas. With the lack of menin, production of insulin in body is increased in order to meet the demands of pregnancy in progress. But, it seams that with gestational diabetes not enough insulin is produced.

Experts say that results of this study could lead to new solutions in diabetes treatment.

Statistics say that about 4% of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes and it happens when women’s body isn’t capable to produce enough insulin required during pregnancy.

During the experiment, researchers focused on the part of the pancreas that produces insulin (islet) and found that when mice produced too much of menin, the islet couldn’t grow and so the experimental mice developed gestational diabetes. So ,the conclusion remains that level of menin controls growth of the part of pancreas that produces insulin.

Scientists also found that body has a way of controlling the amount of menin by a hormone prolactin which is elevated during pregnancy. When non – pregnant mice received this hormone, levels of menin was reduced and islet cells grew normally during pregnancy.