Leptin is now known to be an important hormone affecting intrauterine fetal growth. Since growth of fetus is also affected by the glycemic status of the mother. Serum leptin of infant is influenced by the maternal diabetic state. Investigation of cord blood leptin in babies of DM (Diabetes Mellitus) and GDM (Gestational Diabetes Mellitus) mothers (controlled blood glucose levels) may provide some indication about involvement of genetic factor in the development of leptin abnormalities in fetus.
The study was taken to investigate whether cord blood insulin, c-peptide and leptin levels correlate with birth weight in offspring of DM mother.
Blood was drawn from umbilical cord of 30 babies from GDM mothers (GDM-babies), 45 babies from Type 2 DM Mothers (DM-babies), and 30 babies from ND (Nondiabetic) mothers (ND-babies) of term pregnancy. Weight, blood glucose, placenta, serum leptin and c-peptide of the babies were measured.
Birth weight of GDM and DM babies were significantly higher compared to ND-babies. Glucose level in GDM babies was significantly higher than ND and DM babies. Leptin levels in GDM babies were significantly higher than that of ND and DM babies. Serum c-peptide in GDM babies was significantly higher than DM and ND babies. However, there was no significant difference in leptin-glucose ratio among the three groups. Irrespective of degree of hyperglycemia leptin is a major determinant of fetal growth.
DM mother produces different insulinemic and leptinemic responses in the fetus indicating a possible genetic involvement.