According to the "developmental origin of health and disease" hypothesis, the metabolic set points of glucose and lipid metabolism are determined prenatally. In the case of a diabetic pregnancy, the embryo is exposed to higher glucose and lipid concentrations as early as during preimplantation development. We used the rabbit to study the effect of maternal diabetes type 1 on lipid accumulation and expression of lipogenic markers in preimplantation blastocysts. Accompanied by elevated triglyceride and glucose levels in the maternal blood, embryos from diabetic rabbits showed a massive intracellular lipid accumulation and increased expression of fatty acid transporter 4, fatty acid-binding protein 4, perilipin/adipophilin, and maturation of sterol-regulated element binding protein. However, expression of fatty acid synthase, a key enzyme for de novo synthesis of fatty acids, was not altered in vivo. During a short time in vitro culture of rabbit blastocysts, the accumulation of lipid droplets and expression of lipogenic markers were directly correlated with increasing glucose concentration, indicating that hyperglycemia leads to increased lipogenesis in the preimplantation embryo. Our study shows the decisive effect of glucose as the determining factor for fatty acid metabolism and intracellular lipid accumulation in preimplantation embryos.