Cord Blood Advanced Lipoprotein Testing Reveals an Interaction between Gestational Diabetes and Birth-Weight and Suggests a New Early Biomarker of Infant Obesity

Biomedicines. 2022 Apr 29;10(5):1033. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines10051033.


Abnormal lipid metabolism is associated with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and is observed in neonates with abnormal fetal growth. However, the underlying specific changes in the lipoprotein profile remain poorly understood. Thus, in the present study we used a novel nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based approach to profile the umbilical cord serum lipoproteins. Two-dimensional diffusion-ordered 1H-NMR spectroscopy showed that size, lipid content, number and concentration of particles within their subclasses were similar between offspring born to control (n = 74) and GDM (n = 62) mothers. Subsequent data stratification according to newborn birth-weight categories, i.e., small (n = 39), appropriate (n = 50) or large (n = 49) for gestational age (SGA, AGA and LGA, respectively), showed an interaction between GDM and birth-weight categories for intermediate-density lipoproteins (IDL)-cholesterol content and IDL- and low-density lipoproteins (LDL)-triglyceride content, and the number of medium very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) and LDL particles specifically in AGA neonates. Moreover, in a 2-year follow-up study, we observed that small LDL particles were independently associated with offspring obesity at 2 years (n = 103). Collectively, our data demonstrate that GDM disturbs triglyceride and cholesterol lipoprotein content across birth-weight categories, with AGA neonates born to GDM mothers displaying a profile more similar to that of adults with dyslipidemia. Furthermore, an altered fetal lipoprotein pattern was associated with the development of obesity at 2 years.

Keywords: birth-weight; fetal blood; gestational diabetes; lipoprotein profile; obesity.