Cord blood klotho levels are inversely associated with leptin in healthy Latino neonates at risk for obesity

J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2018 Apr 25;31(5):515-520. doi: 10.1515/jpem-2017-0357.


Background: Klotho serum levels reflect nutritional state in adults including obesity and anorexia. The relationship between cord blood klotho levels at birth and parameters of growth including anthropometrics are not known.

Methods: We evaluated the relationship between cord blood klotho, leptin and adipocyte hormones and infant, child and maternal anthropometrics and maternal depression in a cohort of 73 children. Non-parametric tests were used to assess differences between dichotomous and categorical predictors and klotho levels and Spearman's rank coefficients were used to assess the relationship between klotho levels and continuous predictors. A multivariable log transformed linear regression model was used to test for independent predictors of serum klotho levels.

Results: Mean klotho levels were 2864.9±1409.7 (pg/mL) in cord blood and we found no relationship with infant sex, delivery specifics including gestational age or anthropometrics at birth. There was similarly no association between klotho levels at birth and future obesity at age 2. Leptin levels at birth were inversely associated with klotho levels in multivariable models after adjusting for other covariates (p<0.01). Similarly, in multivariable models insulin levels were inversely correlated with klotho levels (p=0.03). Leptin levels in our cohort of at-risk infants were more than 50% higher than other studies with neonates.

Conclusions: We found no associations between weight or length at birth or obesity in early childhood and cord blood klotho levels. Cord blood klotho levels were inversely correlated with leptin and insulin levels at birth and should be further investigated to better understand the inter-relationship between this hormone and key regulators of growth and adiposity.

Keywords: Latino; growth; klotho; leptin; neonate.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / metabolism*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / metabolism*
  • Gestational Age
  • Glucuronidase / blood*
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Leptin / blood*
  • Male
  • Obesity / blood*
  • Obesity / etiology*
  • Prognosis


  • Biomarkers
  • Leptin
  • Glucuronidase
  • klotho protein