Human fetal adiponectin and retinol-binding protein (RBP)-4 levels in relation to birth weight and maternal obesity.Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2009 Mar; 117(3):146-9.EC
Recent studies suggest that the perinatal period is a sensitive part in human development with respect to the pathogenesis of metabolic diseases in adulthood. Neonates, who are either small or large for gestational age (SGA or LGA) have a greater risk of developing obesity and insulin resistance in later life. The term "perinatal priming" is used to describe this phenomenon. Therefore, in the present study we first aimed to investigate if birth weight influences fetal adiponectin and RBP-4 metabolism. Umbilical cord blood was obtained form 40 neonates born on term+/-4 weeks and the adipokine concentrations in the serum were measured. In this analysis adiponectin but not RBP-4 levels showed a positive significant correlation to birth weight. Since maternal preconceptional obesity is associated with an increased birth weight and the risk for LGA neonates, we further aimed to investigate, if the maternal nutritional state influences fetal adiponectin and RBP-4. Therefore umbilical cord blood levels of the adipokines were correlated to maternal preconceptional BMI. In this analysis, neither adiponectin nor RBP-4 levels showed a significant correlation. Taken together, in the present study for the first time we directly compare fetal adiponectin and RBP-4 levels in respect to birth weight and maternal preconceptional BMI. Our data suggest that (1) adiponectin is more likely to have a role in perinatal priming of obesity and insulin resistance than RBP-4 and (2) that birth weight has a greater impact on fetal adipokine serum levels than maternal preconceptional obesity.