MicroRNAs are promising biological markers for prenatal diagnosis. They regulate placental development and are present in maternal plasma. Maternal metabolic diseases are major risk factors for placental deterioration. We analysed the influence of a maternal insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus on microRNA expression in maternal plasma and in blastocysts employing an in vivo rabbit diabetic pregnancy model and an in vitro embryo culture in hyperglycaemic and hypoinsulinaemic medium. Maternal diabetes led to a marked downregulation of Dicer protein in embryoblast cells and Drosha protein in trophoblast cells. MiR-27b, miR-141 and miR-191 were decreased in trophoblast cells and in maternal plasma of diabetic rabbits. In vitro studies indicate, that maternal hyperglycaemia and hypoinsulinaemia partially contribute to the downregulation of trophoblastic microRNAs. As the altered microRNA expression was detectable in maternal plasma, too, the plasma microRNA signature could serve as an early biological marker for the prediction of trophoblast function during a diabetic pregnancy.