Relationship of pentraxin 3 with insulin sensitivity in gestational diabetes


Correspondence to: Alexandra Kautzky-Willer, MD, Department of Internal Medicine III, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Medical University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria. Tel.: +43-(0)1 40400 2126; fax: +43-(0)1 40400 5740; e-mail:



Pentraxin 3 (PTX3) is a cytokine-inducible molecule expressed in different tissues, the levels of which increase in a response to a variety of inflammatory conditions. Recently, it has been linked to the serum glucose levels and some comorbidities in type 2 diabetes.

Materials and methods

Here, we aimed to investigate the role of PTX3 in gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), which is considered a forerunner of type 2 diabetes. Fasting PTX3 serum levels were measured in 90 women [45 GDM, 45 normal glucose tolerance (NGT)] during pregnancy. In addition, PTX3 was measured during a 2 h, 75 g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) in 20 women (10 GDM, 10 NGT) at 24–28 weeks of gestation and in 16 of them after delivery (10GDM, 6 NGT).


A continuous increase in PTX3 levels was observed during the OGTT and reached in the GDM group a significant difference after 120 min compared with baseline (< 0·05). Additionally, a rise in the PTX3 concentration was significantly higher in the GDM- compared with the NGT group, 120 min after glucose challenge (< 0·01). During pregnancy, serum glucose and C-peptide were positively correlated with the PTX3 levels in the whole study group, whereas a negative association was found with the insulin sensitivity parameters QUICKI and OGIS.


Dependence of PTX3 on serum glucose levels was more pronounced in women with GDM than in the NGT group. This notion together with its inverse relation to the parameters of insulin sensitivity, suggests a potential involvement of PTX3 in GDM pathology.