Objective: To determine whether maternal, placental or fetal compartment contributes to the high levels of cord blood adiponectin.
Study design: Serum adiponectin levels were compared from 62 newborns and their mothers as well as 32 newborns at delivery and 4 days postpartum. In addition, human placental tissues were tested for the presence of adiponectin mRNA by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction.
Results: Cord blood serum adiponectin levels were significantly higher and did not correlate with maternal adiponectin levels (32.5 +/- 7.5 vs. 11.0 +/- 3.6 microg/mL, p < 0.001). Cord blood and day 4 serum adiponectin did not differ significantly (32.6 +/- 7.6 vs. 29.5 +/- 8.4 microg/mL, p < 0.3). In addition, adiponectin mRNA was not expressed in the placenta.
Conclusion: These findings preclude the possibility of a placental or maternal origin of cord adiponectin. Thus, the high cord adiponectin levels may be attributed to fetal tissues.