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Maternal Proinflammatory Adipokines Throughout Pregnancy and Neonatal Size and Body Composition: A Prospective Study

Increased maternal adiposity and inflammation have impacts on fetal growth. The purpose of this prospective study was to investigate the associations of 3 proinflammatory adipokines in pregnancy with neonatal anthropometry. In a sample of 321 US pregnant women from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Fetal Growth Studies-Singleton Cohort (NCT00912132), plasma IL-6, fatty acid binding protein-4 (FABP4), and chemerin were measured in plasma samples collected at 10-14, 15-26, 23-31, and 33-39 weeks of gestation. Generalized linear models were used to estimate associations of adipokines with neonatal weight, thigh, and crown-heel length, and skinfolds at birth. Models adjusted for age, race/ethnicity, education, nulliparity, prepregnancy BMI, and weeks of gestation at blood collection. At each time point, higher IL-6 was associated with lower neonatal birthweight and thigh length. At 15-26 weeks of gestation, a 1 SD pg/mL increase in IL-6 was associated with -84.46 g lower neonatal birthweight (95% CI: -150.70, -18.22), -0.17 cm shorter thigh length (95% CI: -0.27, -0.07), -0.43 cm shorter crown-heel length (95% CI: -0.75, -0.10), and -0.75 mm smaller sum of skinfolds (95% CI: -1.19, -0.31), with similar associations at 23-31 and 33-39 weeks of gestation. There were no associations of FABP4 and chemerin with neonatal anthropometry. Starting as early as 15 weeks of gestation, higher maternal IL-6 concentrations in pregnancy were associated with lower neonatal birthweight, thigh and crown-heel length, and skinfolds. These data provide insight into the relevance of maternal inflammatory markers with neonatal anthropometry.

Authors: Francis, Ellen C; Li, Mengying; Hinkle, Stefanie N; Chen, Jinbo; Wu, Jing; Zhu, Yeyi; Cao, Haiming; Tsai, Michael Y; Chen, Liwei; Zhang, Cuilin

Curr Dev Nutr. 2021 Oct;5(10):nzab113. Epub 2021-09-07.

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