Background and aims Increased neonatal adiposity is associated with childhood obesity and subsequent development of adult diseases. Chemerin was recently introduced as a novel adipocytokine inducing insulin resistance and regulating maternal-fetal metabolic homeostasis during pregnancy. Obestatin is a peptide hormone involved in the control of insulin secretion and adipocyte function. This study aimed to assess circulating concentrations of chemerin and obestatin in fetal samples from large-for-gestational-age-(LGA) and appropriate-for-gestational-age-(AGA) pregnancies and investigate their association with gender, parity and delivery mode.
Methods Cord blood chemerin and obestatin concentrations were prospectively measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 40 LGA (9 born from diabetic mothers and 31 born from non-diabetic mothers) and 40 AGA singleton full-term infants.
Results Cord blood chemerin concentrations were significantly higher in LGA compared to AGA neonates, after controlling for confounding factors (b=38.91, p<0.001, SE 9.29). In contrast, no significant differences in obestatin concentrations were observed between groups. Cord blood concentrations of both hormones did not depend on gender, parity or delivery mode.
Conclusions Higher chemerin concentrations in LGA neonates, possibly implying predisposition to insulin resistance, may serve as an early prognostic marker for later development of the metabolic syndrome. Lack of difference in obestatin concentrations between LGA and AGA groups could possibly suggest that obestatin may not be directly involved in the regulation of fetal adiposity and insulin sensitivity.