Background: Adiponectin is an adipokine related to insulin sensitivity. In adults and older children adiponectin correlates inversely to BMI, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular risk. Less is known about these relationships in early childhood.
Objective and hypotheses: To explore the longitudinal development of adiponectin and correlations to early feeding patterns and serum essential fatty acids.
Method: 324 term infants were followed from birth to 3 years of age. Adiponectin was measured in cord, at 4, 12, and 36 months of age. Feeding practices were collected through questionnaires. In a subgroup of 92 infants essential fatty acid status in cord, serum at 2 days, 4, 12 and 36 months and breast-milk at 4 months were determined. Length and weight were measured.
Results: Mean (S.D.) adiponectin levels were significantly higher in cord blood and at 4 months (33 (12.8) vs 36 (12.5)) compared with a significant lowering thereafter (18 (7.3) and 14 (5.3), P<0.001). No significant gender difference was found except for significant lower adiponectin levels in females at 12 months of age. Feeding patterns at 4 months of age did not influence adiponectin levels. A significant negative correlation was found between omega-6/omega-3 (n-6/n-3)-ratio in cord blood and serum adiponectin levels at 36 months (r=−0.36 P<0.05). Eicosapentaenoic acid plus docosahexaenoic acid (EPA+DHA) in serum at two days correlated with adiponectin levels at 12 and 36 months (r=0.31 P<0.05). There was a strong correlation between the serum LC-PUFAs at 4 months and in breast-milk (r=0.68, P<0.001). Serum n-6/n-3-ratio differed between exclusive breast-fed infants and mixed/formula-fed infants 5.6 (1.2) vs 6.9 (2.5), P<0.001).
Conclusion: Term infants present with high adiponectin levels at birth, lowering after 4 months of age. Essential fatty acid status at birth predict adiponectin levels at 36 months of age and may suggest early programming of later insulin sensitivity.
20 - 22 Sep 2014
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology