Circulating and uteroplacental adipocytokine concentrations in preeclampsia


  • F. Herse
  • Y. Bai
  • A.C. Staff
  • Y.M. Jiang
  • R. Dechend
  • R. Zhou


  • Reproductive Sciences


  • Reprod Sci 16 (6): 584-590


  • Background: The adipokines adiponectin and leptin may contribute to preeclampsia; however, the reports are conflicting. We explored the issue further. Methods: We studied 25 pregnant women with normal pregnancy in first, 25 in second, and 30 in third trimesters, 15 healthy nonpregnant women, and 32 women with preeclampsia. We used enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to measure human plasma adiponectin (ng/mL) and leptin (ng/mL) concentrations. We also investigated adiponectin and leptin expression by quantitative messenger RNA in fat, decidua, and placenta tissues in a second study. Results: Prepregnancy body mass index was not different in preeclamptic and nonpreeclamptic women. Plasma adiponectin concentrations increased throughout normal pregnancy, compared to nonpregnant women. The values increased in every trimester but were invariably lower in women with preeclampsia. Adiponectin nonetheless correlated inversely with prepregnancy body mass index. Such correlations were not found in women with preeclampsia. Plasma leptin in contrast decreased during pregnancy in every trimester. Leptin values were much higher in preeclamptic than in nonpreeclamptic women. Leptin expression was increased in the uteroplacental unit and in fat tissue of preeclamptic, compared to nonpreeclamptic women, while no differences in adiponectin expression were found. Conclusions: Adiponectin increases in normal pregnancy but remains correlated with prepregnancy body mass index. Plasma leptin decreases in normal pregnancy. In preeclamptic women, the normal adipokine responses are perturbed and this could be of pathophysiological significance.