Objectives: To evaluate whether obesity is associated with changes in pro-inflammatory and immunomodulatory cytokines in pregnancy.
Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study using maternal serum from the early second trimester to examine biomarkers associated with inflammation in relation to maternal body mass index (n=80 total).
Results: Leptin and high sensitivity C-reactive protein were significantly different between groups and increased with increasing body mass index. MCP-1 was significantly increased in the morbidly obese mothers. Interleukin-2 exhibited a U-shaped relationship with body mass index; transforming growth factor-beta1 demonstrated a nonsignificant negative trend with body mass index; and the levels of hepatocyte growth factor and tumor necrosis factor-alpha did not differ appreciably between groups.
Conclusions: Maternal obesity in pregnancy is associated with changes in cytokines, protein hormones and acute phase proteins in the second trimester, with an increase in MCP-1 in the morbid obesity category, and an increase in Leptin and hsCRP with increasing BMI category.