The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism Journal Article

Maternal Pregnancy Leptin, Adiponectin, and Autism

October 25, 2021
 

Kyoung Eun Joung, Sheryl L Rifas-Shiman, Emily Oken, Christos S Mantzoros
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 106, Issue 10, October 2021, Pages e4118–e4127
https://doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgab378

Abstract

Context

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of conditions characterized by impaired social function and repetitive behaviors. Their etiology is largely unknown.

Objective

This work aims to examine the associations of maternal second-trimester and cord blood leptin and adiponectin levels with ASDs in offspring.

Methods

We used data from 1164 mother-child pairs enrolled in Project Viva, a prospective prebirth cohort. We used logistic regression analysis to examine the associations of leptin and adiponectin levels in maternal second-trimester blood and cord blood obtained at birth with ASDs. Additionally, we examined the association of maternal prepregnancy body mass index (BMI) as an exposure. Main outcome measures included doctor-diagnosed ASDs reported by mothers using questionnaires in midchildhood and early adolescence.

Results

The cumulative incidence of ASDs was 3.4%. Maternal prepregnancy BMI (per 5 points) was positively associated with ASDs in a logistic regression model adjusted for maternal race/ethnicity, education, smoking status and child sex (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.38; 95% CI, 1.06–1.79). Higher second-trimester adiponectin was associated with lower odds of ASD in offspring (unadjusted OR 0.49; 95% CI, 0.30–0.78; and OR 0.54; 95% CI, 0.32–0.91 after adjusting for maternal race/ethnicity, education, child sex, OR 0.55; 95% CI, 0.33–0.93 after adjusting for BMI, gestational weight gain, gestational diabetes, and smoking status). Maternal leptin and cord blood leptin and adiponectin levels were not associated with ASDs.

Conclusion

Prepregnancy BMI and adiponectin during pregnancy may be useful as a tool to monitor the risk of autism. Increasing adiponectin levels prenatally may play a role in the prevention of ASDs.

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