Exposure to a diabetic intrauterine environment leads to diabetogenic disturbances throughout later life in rats. This is accompanied by a fetally acquired dysplasia of the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMN) which is decisively involved in the regulation of metabolism. We investigated whether malformation of the VMN is preventable by normalization of gestational hyperglycaemia. Correction of hyperglycaemia in pregnant streptozotocin-diabetic rats was achieved by pancreatic islet transplantation. The number of neurons in the VMN was significantly reduced in adult offspring of non-treated, sham-transplanted mother rats (P<0.05), but did not differ between offspring of islet-transplanted mother rats and offspring of control mothers. In conclusion, prevention of VMN malformation in offspring of islet-transplanted diabetic mothers might be co-responsible for normalization of their glucose homeostasis during life.