Cord serum visfatin at term birth: maternal smoking unmasks the relation to foetal growth
López-Bermejo, Abel × de Zegher, Francis Díaz-Silva, Marta Vicente, Maria Pilar Valls, Carme Ibáñez, Lourdes #
Blackwell Scientific Publications
Clinical Endocrinology vol:68 issue:1 pages:77-81
OBJECTIVE: Visfatin is an adipocytokine involved in insulin action and oxidative stress. The regulation of circulating concentrations in the human foetus is unknown. We studied whether, at term birth, the serum concentrations of visfatin are related to foetal size, both in the absence and in the presence of maternal smoking during pregnancy. DESIGN: A cross-sectional, hospital-based study. PATIENTS: Seventy-eight singleton, healthy neonates [39 girls and 39 boys; gestational age (GA) 39.5 +/- 0.2 weeks; birth weight (BW) 3.3 +/- 0.04 kg]. METHODS: Cord serum visfatin, insulin and IGF-I measured by specific immunoassays. RESULTS: In infants from nonsmoking mothers (N = 48), cord serum visfatin levels were unrelated to either BW or birth length (BL). In infants from smoking mothers (N = 30), however, serum visfatin was inversely associated with both BW (r = -0.57; P < 0.001) and BL (r = -0.60; P < 0.0001) and it was directly associated with the number of cigarettes smoked (P < 0.05) in heavy smokers. In a multiple regression analysis, cord serum visfatin accounted for 36% of BW and 32% of BL variance in infants from smoking mothers. Cord serum visfatin was unrelated to insulin or IGF-I in either subgroup. CONCLUSION: At term birth, there is no readily detectable relation between circulating visfatin and indices of foetal size; however, maternal smoking unmasked a strikingly inverse relationship between cord serum visfatin and the foetal growth status, indicating that smoking can elicit a rise or a fall of cord serum visfatin, depending on whether the foetus is, respectively, of smaller or larger size.