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Croat Med J. 2017 Apr 14;58(2):96-104.

Obesity in pregnancy: a novel concept on the roles of adipokines in uterine contractility.

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Robert Gaspar, Eotvos Street 6., Szeged, H-6720, Hungary,


Obesity is a global health problem even among pregnant women. Obesity alters quality of labor, such as preterm labor, prolonged labor, and higher oxytocin requirements in pregnant women. The most important factors to play a role in the altered gestational period and serve as drug targets to treat the consequences are female sexual hormones, calcium channels, adrenergic system, oxytocin, and prostaglandins. However, we have limited information about the impact of obesity on the pregnant uterine contractility and gestation time. Adipose tissue, which is the largest endocrine and paracrine organ, especially in obesity, is responsible for the production of adipokines and various cytokines and chemokines, and there are no reliable data available describing the relation between body mass index, glucose intolerance, and adipokines during pregnancy. Recent data suggest that the dysregulation of leptin, adiponectin, and kisspeptin during pregnancy contributes to gestational diabetes mellitus and pre-eclampsia. A preclinical method for obese pregnancy should be developed to clarify the action of adipokines and assess their impact in obesity. The deeper understanding of the adipokines-induced processes in obese pregnancy may be a step closer to the prevention and therapy of preterm delivery or prolonged pregnancy. Gestational weight gain is one of the factors that could influence the prenatal development, birth weight, and adiposity of newborn.

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