Leptin, acylcarnitine metabolites and development of adiposity in the Rhea mother-child cohort in Crete, Greece

Obes Sci Pract. 2016 Dec;2(4):471-476. doi: 10.1002/osp4.65. Epub 2016 Oct 21.


Objective: This study aims to investigate relations of serum leptin at age 4 with development of adiposity and linear growth during 3 years of follow-up among 75 Greek children and to identify serum metabolites associated with leptin at age 4 and to characterize their associations with adiposity gain and linear growth.

Methods: Linear regression models that accounted for maternal age, education and gestational weight gain and child's age and sex were used to examine associations of leptin and leptin-associated metabolites measured at age 4 with indicators of adiposity and linear growth at age 7.

Results: Each 1-unit increment in natural log-(ln)-transformed leptin corresponded with 0.33 (95% CI: 0.10, 0.55) units greater body mass index-for-age z-score gain during follow-up. Likewise, higher levels of the leptin-associated metabolites methylmalonyl-carnitine and glutaconyl-carnitine corresponded with 0.14 (95% CI: 0.01, 0.27) and 0.07 (95% CI: -0.01, 0.16) units higher body mass index-for-age z-score gain, respectively. These relationships did not differ by sex or baseline weight status and were independent of linear growth.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that leptin, methylmalonyl-carnitine and possibly glutaconyl-carnitine are associated with weight gain during early childhood. Future studies are warranted to confirm these findings in other populations.

Keywords: adiposity; children; leptin; metabolites.