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Obes Res. 2004 Mar;12(3):521-4.

Hyperadiponectinemia in newborns: relationship with leptin levels and birth weight.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil.



Adiponectin is the only adipose-specific hormone that, despite its exclusive production by adipose tissue, is reduced in obesity and is inversely correlated with leptin levels in adults. The aim of this study was to evaluate the adiponectin concentration in umbilical cord blood at different gestational ages and to investigate its possible associations with leptin levels and birth weight.


Umbilical cord blood was obtained from 132 newborns (male = 65, female = 67, gestational age: 35 to 42 weeks). The anthropometric variables of the newborns studied were birth weight, birth length, body weight/body length, and ponderal index. Adiponectin, insulin, and leptin levels were measured by radioimmunoassay methods.


Adiponectin levels in males were not different from those in females (24.10 +/- 0.81 vs. 25.62 +/- 0.84 micro g/mL, p = 0.280). Adiponectin concentrations were positively correlated with birth weight (p < 0.05), birth length (p < 0.05), body weight/body length (p < 0.05), gestational age (p < 0.01), and leptin levels (p < 0.01).


These findings indicate that adiponectin is present in umbilical cord blood after 35 to 42 weeks of gestation, with higher levels than those usually found in adults, no gender differences, and a positive correlation with birth weight and leptin. These results suggest that not only could neonatal hyperadiponectinemia be associated with the increase of adiponectin production by fetal adipose tissue but also with a possible reduction in an unknown mechanism related to the suppression of adiponectin observed in adults.

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