Maternal Serum and Breast Milk Adiponectin: The Association with Infant Adiposity Development

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Jun 12;15(6):1250. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15061250.


The prevalence of childhood obesity is increasing at an alarming rate in Malaysia. Metabolic changes during pregnancy are critical to the development of infant adiposity, due to imbalanced adipokines production. Hence, we aimed to investigate the association of maternal serum and breast milk adipokines with infant adiposity development. The study was conducted from April 2010 until December 2012. A total of 155 healthy pregnant mothers aged 19 to 40 years were recruited during the first and second trimester in Kelantan, Malaysia. Data consisted of maternal sociodemographic details, anthropometry and clinical biochemistry analysis; and the infant&rsquo;s anthropometry and feeding patterns. Maternal fasting serum and breast milk samples were analysed for adiponectin and leptin levels. Data collection was performed in the second and third trimester of pregnancy, and continued with follow-up visits at birth, two, six, and 12 months postpartum. Multiple linear regression (MLR) analyses were performed to examine the associations between maternal serum and breast milk adiponectin and leptin and infant adiposity development. MLR models showed that, in the first year, as maternal serum and breast milk adiponectin increased, infant weight, BMI-for-age Z scores and abdominal circumference significantly decreased (p < 0.05). Maternal serum and/or breast milk adiponectin was associated with first-year infant adiposity development.

Keywords: adipokines; adiponectin; breast milk; infant adiposity; leptin; obesity; pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / metabolism*
  • Adiposity*
  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Leptin / metabolism
  • Malaysia
  • Male
  • Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Milk, Human / metabolism*
  • Pediatric Obesity / diagnosis
  • Pediatric Obesity / etiology*
  • Pediatric Obesity / pathology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second / metabolism*
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third / metabolism*
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / diagnosis
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / etiology
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / pathology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors


  • ADIPOQ protein, human
  • Adiponectin
  • Biomarkers
  • Leptin