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Plasma adiponectin levels in newborns are higher than those in adults and positively correlated with birth weight


Ichiro Yokota, MD, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Tokushima, 3-kuramoto cho, Tokushima 770–8503, Japan. Tel: +81-88-633-7135; Fax: +81-88-631-8697. E-mail:


objective  The aim of this study was to examine plasma adiponectin concentrations during perinatal the period and their correlations with fetal anthropometric parameters and other hormones.

design  Venous cord blood samples were obtained from 59 full-term healthy newborns (36 males and 23 females, gestational age 37·0–41·4 weeks, birth weight 2,146–4,326 g, birth length 44·0–54·5 cm). The blood samples were also obtained from 15 neonates (postnatal day 3–7) whose cord blood had already been collected and the changes in adiponectin concentrations were examined.

measurements  The adiponectin concentration was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The leptin concentration was determined by radioimmunoassay. Insulin, GH and IGF-1 concentrations were determined by immunoradiometric assays.

results  The plasma adiponectin concentrations in cord blood ranged from 6·0 to 55·8 µg/ml (median 22·4 µg/ml), which were much higher than those in normal-weight adults (P < 0·0001). In contrast to the findings in adults, these values were positively correlated with birth weight (r = 0·43, P = 0·0005), body mass index (r = 0·44, P = 0·0005), birth weight/birth length ratio (r = 0·46, P = 0·0002) and the leptin concentrations (r = 0·39, P = 0·004). When the effects of fat mass-related anthropometric parameters such as the birth weight/birth length ratio were controlled, plasma adiponectin concentrations had a significant inverse correlation with insulin concentrations (r = −0·35, P = 0·01). There was no significant gender difference in adiponectin concentrations among newborns. The adiponectin concentrations in neonates (postnatal day 3–7) did not change significantly compared with those in cord blood.

conclusions  In contrast to the findings in adults, these results suggest that the adiponectin concentration increases with the mass of fetal fat.