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Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Feb;290(2):E326-33. Epub 2005 Sep 6.

Increased plasma levels of adipokines in preeclampsia: relationship to placenta and adipose tissue gene expression.

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Dept. of Nutrition, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1046, Blindern, N-0316 Oslo, Norway.


Adipokines are predominantly secretory protein hormones from adipose tissue but may also originate in placenta and other organs. Cross-sectionally, we monitored maternal plasma concentration of adiponectin, resistin, and leptin and their mRNA expression in abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue and placenta from preeclamptic (PE; n = 15) and healthy pregnant (HP; n = 23) women undergoing caesarean section. The study groups were similar in age and BMI, whereas HOMA-IR tended to be higher in the PE group. In fasting plasma samples, the PE group had higher concentrations of adiponectin (18.3 +/- 2.2 vs. 12.2 +/- 1.1 microg/ml, P = 0.011), resistin (5.68 +/- 0.41 vs. 4.65 +/- 0.32 ng/ml, P = 0.028), and leptin (34.4 +/- 3.2 vs. 22.7 +/- 2.1 ng/ml, P = 0.003) compared with the HP group. Adiponectin and leptin concentrations were still different between PE and HP after controlling for BMI and HOMA-IR, whereas resistin concentrations differed only after controlling for BMI but not HOMA-IR. We found similar mean mRNA levels of adiponectin, resistin, and leptin in abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue in PE and HP women. When data were pooled from PE and HP women, resistin mRNA levels in adipose tissue also correlated with HOMA-IR (r = 0.470, P = 0.012) after controlling for BMI and pregnancy duration. Resistin mRNA levels in placenta were not significantly different between PE and HP, whereas leptin mRNA levels were higher in PE placenta compared with HP. Thus increased plasma concentrations of adiponectin and resistin in preeclampsia may not relate to altered expression levels in adipose tissue and placenta, whereas both plasma and placenta mRNA levels of leptin are increased in preeclampsia.

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