Fetal and maternal leptin in pre-gestational diabetic pregnancy

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2013 Feb;120(2):169-72. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2012.08.025. Epub 2012 Nov 28.


Objective: To compare maternal and fetal leptin among women without diabetes, women with type 1 diabetes, and women with type 2 diabetes.

Methods: In a prospective study at the National Maternity Hospital, Dublin, 40 women with type 1 diabetes, 10 with type 2 diabetes, and 30 without diabetes were enrolled between July 2006 and July 2008. Maternal (36-week) and cord blood leptin was measured by enzyme-linked immunoassay.

Results: No difference was found in maternal leptin among the groups: without diabetes (mean, range): 325 pg/mL, 36-1492 pg/mL; type 1 diabetes: 343.2 pg/mL, 55.5-1108.2 pg/mL; type 2 diabetes: 202.2 pg/mL, 35.1-1553.3 pg/mL (P>0.05). Leptin levels were higher among fetuses of women with type 1 (223 pg/mL, 25.7-810 pg/mL) and type 2 (447.2 pg/mL, 136.3-679 pg/mL) diabetes than among women without diabetes (80.3 pg/mL, 27.3-623.1 pg/mL; P<0.05). The single significant predictor of fetal leptin for the whole cohort was maternal body mass index (BMI; r=0.39, P=0.01). Only third-trimester glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) was significantly related to fetal leptin after controlling for maternal BMI among women with diabetes (r=0.28, P=0.04).

Conclusion: Fetuses of women with diabetes might have some degree of leptin resistance. This might be important in appetite regulation in extrauterine life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Birth Weight*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Leptin / blood*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Diabetics / blood*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Young Adult


  • Leptin