Two adipokines (adiponectin and resistin) have opposite relations with insulin resistance and inflammation. Our major focus was to determine whether there were detectable ethnic differences in maternal adipokines during pregnancy. We also explored the correlation of the adipokines with maternal glucose homeostasis, blood pressure and anthropometric parameters. Pregnant women (n
= 1634) were from a large prospective cohort study in Camden NJ (African-American 36.8%; Hispanic 47.6%; Caucasian 15.6%). Serum adiponectin and resistin were measured at entry (week 16.8) and the 3rd trimester (week 30.7) using the Luminex xMapTechnology. Significant differences were observed among ethnic groups, controlling for confounding variables. African American women were exceptional in that they had decreased adiponectin and increased resistin throughout the course of pregnancy (p
< 0.05 to p
< 0.0001) and a greater than two fold risk of simultaneously exhibiting low adiponectin (lowest tertile) and high resistin (highest tertile) compared to Caucasians and/or Hispanics. The cohort as a whole and each ethnic group showed similar negative correlations between adiponectin, and glucose homeostasis, blood pressure and anthropometric parameters but there was lesser correspondence with resistin. Our data underscore the need for further research on ethnic variation in adipokines and other physiologic biomarkers during complicated and uncomplicated pregnancy.
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