Maternal and neonatal FTO rs9939609 polymorphism affect insulin sensitivity markers and lipoprotein profile at birth in appropriate-for-gestational-age term neonates

J Physiol Biochem. 2016 Jun;72(2):169-81. doi: 10.1007/s13105-016-0467-7. Epub 2016 Feb 6.


The influence of maternal fat mass and obesity (FTO) gene polymorphism on neonatal insulin sensitivity/resistance biomarkers and lipoprotein profile has not been tested. The study aimed to assess the association between the FTO rs9939609 polymorphism in mother-neonate couples and neonatal anthropometrical measurements, insulin sensitivity/resistance, and lipid and lipoprotein concentrations at birth. Fifty-three term, appropriate-for-gestational-age, Caucasian newborns together with their respective mothers participated in a cross-sectional study. Sixty-six percent of mothers and neonates carried the A allele (being AA or AT). TT mothers gained less weight during pregnancy, but non-significant maternal gene influence was found for neonatal bodyweight, body mass index, or ponderal index. Neonates from AA + AT mothers showed lower glucose, insulin, and homeostatic model assessment insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) but higher homeostatic model assessment insulin sensitivity (HOMA-IS) and homocysteine than neonates whose mothers were TT. AA + AT neonates had higher insulin and HOMA-IR than TT. The genotype neonatal × maternal association was tested in the following four groups of neonates: TT neonates × TT mothers (nTT × mTT), TT neonates × AA + AT mothers (nTT × mAA + AT), AA + AT neonates × TT mothers (nAA + AT × mTT), and AA + AT neonates × AA + AT mothers (nAA + AT × mAA + AT). Non-significant interactions between neonatal and maternal alleles were found for any parameter tested. However, maternal alleles affected significantly glucose, insulin, HOMA-IR, and homocysteine while neonatal alleles the arylesterase activity. Most significant differences were found between nATT + AA × mTT and nATT + AA × mAA + AT. Glycemia, insulinemia, and HOMA-IR were lower, while the Mediterranean diet adherence (MDA) was higher in the mAA + AT vs. mTT whose children were AA + AT. This dietary fact seems to counterbalance the potential negative effect on glucose homeostasis of the obesogenic A allele in neonates.

Keywords: Appropriate-for-gestational-age; FTO gene; Healthy eating index; Insulin sensitivity; Lipoproteins; Mediterranean diet adherence; Term neonates.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alleles
  • Alpha-Ketoglutarate-Dependent Dioxygenase FTO / genetics*
  • Alpha-Ketoglutarate-Dependent Dioxygenase FTO / metabolism
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / genetics*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / genetics*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Female
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Hospitals, Urban
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / blood
  • Hyperlipidemias / genetics*
  • Hyperlipidemias / metabolism
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Lipoproteins / blood*
  • Male
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Spain


  • Biomarkers
  • Lipoproteins
  • Alpha-Ketoglutarate-Dependent Dioxygenase FTO
  • FTO protein, human