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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2014 May;22(5):1317-24. doi: 10.1002/oby.20626. Epub 2013 Dec 4.

Cord blood levels of osteopontin as a phenotype marker of gestational age and neonatal morbidities.

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  • 1Division of Newborn Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Enders-961 300 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA, 02115; Division of Newborn Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), 75 Francis St, Boston, MA, 02115.



Osteopontin (OPN) is a proinflammatory cytokine associated with metabolic syndrome. Extreme birth weight categories including small for gestational age (SGA), and large for gestational age (LGA) are risk factors for metabolic syndrome. However normal levels of plasma OPN in neonates and the relationship of OPN to fetal growth remain unknown. We evaluated the association of umbilical cord blood OPN with gestational age, birth weight, and neonatal outcomes.


A cross-sectional study of 261 newborns of all gestational ages beginning at week 26, and 26 adults for comparison was performed. Umbilical cord blood from newborns and analyzed plasma for OPN by ELISA was collected.


Plasma OPN was significantly higher in neonates (414.65 ± 136.72 ng/mL) compared to adults (33.37 ± 14.66 ng/mL, P < 0.001). There was an inverse correlation between OPN and gestational age (r = -0.48, P < 0.0001). LGA infants had lower OPN than appropriate for gestational age (AGA) infants, but LGA was not an independent predictor of OPN in multivariate analysis. Among preterm infants, patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) was independently associated with higher OPN (OR = 2.49, P = 0.02).


Our results raise the possibility that OPN has a physiologic role in fetal growth and development, and may be a useful biomarker for PDA.

Copyright © 2013 The Obesity Society.

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