The relationship of the levels of leptin, insulin-like growth factor-I and insulin in cord blood with birth size, ponderal index, and gender difference.J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab 2000; 13(3):289-96JP
In humans, serum levels of leptin correlate with total body fat in both adults and children. After collecting cord blood from 156 term neonates (82 males, 74 females; 132 AGA and 22 LGA), we measured the cord levels of leptin, insulin and IGF-I to determine the relationships between these three hormones and relationships of these hormones with birth size (birth weight and ponderal index for adiposity in newborn) and gender. The leptin and IGF-I levels were significantly higher in the LGA group (9.2+/-4.0 ng/ml and 96.1+/-34.1 ng/ml, respectively) than in the AGA group (4.8+/-3.8 ng/ml and 56.4+/-37.6 ng/ml, respectively). A significant positive correlation was observed between leptin levels and birth weight, and a weaker correlation between leptin levels and birth height. IGF-I level significantly correlated with birth weight and birth height, but there was no correlation between the levels of insulin and birth weight. There was no relationship between the levels of IGF-I, insulin and leptin. Ponderal index was higher in LGA than in AGA. A significant correlation was also observed between the levels of leptin and ponderal index, but not between the levels of insulin or IGF-I and ponderal index. The levels of leptin and ponderal index were higher in females than males despite no gender differences in gestational age and birth weight. In conclusion, our results suggest that the level of IGF-I is a useful index for fetal growth during late gestation, and the development of adipose tissue is the major determinant of fetal serum leptin levels, the production of which is not regulated by insulin or IGF-I. In addition, a gender difference with a higher level of leptin in female neonates suggests that sexual dimorphism in adipose tissue already exists in utero.