Maternal and Cord Blood Ghrelin in the Pregnancies of Smoking Mothers: Possible Markers of Nutrient Availability for the FetusBouhours-Nouet N.a · Boux de Casson F.b · Rouleau S.a · Douay O.c · Mathieu E.c · Bouderlique C.a · Gillard P.d · Limal J.M.a · Descamps P.d · Coutant R.a
Departments of aPediatrics, bNuclear Medicine, cBiochemistry and Molecular Biology, and dObstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital, Angers, France
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Article / Publication Details
Aims: To investigate the role of ghrelin in maternal and fetal metabolism, we determined its value in maternal smoking, a specific cause of reduced placenta function and fetal growth. Methods: In 85 normal term pregnancies, 42 in smoking and 43 in non-smoking mothers, we measured ghrelin in the maternal blood at the onset of labor and in the cord blood of their 85 singletons immediately after birth. We determined the relationships between ghrelin and placental GH (PGH), pituitary GH (pitGH), and IGF-I. Results: The newborns of smoking mothers weighed 0.24 kg less (p < 0.05) than those of non-smoking mothers. Cord blood ghrelin was 71% higher and PGH and cord blood IGF-I were 34% and 32% lower, respectively, in the pregnancies of smoking compared with non-smoking mothers (p < 0.05). Cord blood ghrelin was unrelated to pitGH and cord blood IGF-I. Maternal ghrelin was unchanged in smoking mothers, increased with maternal fasting duration (r = 0.26, p < 0.05), showed no correlation with PGH and negative correlation with cord blood IGF-I (r = –0.42, p < 0.01). Conclusion: The decrease in placental function and fetal growth in smoking mothers is associated with an increase in cord blood ghrelin, and no change in maternal ghrelin. Maternal ghrelin concentration increases with fasting, and is negatively correlated with cord blood IGF-I: it may signal a reduction in the level of nutrients available for placental transfer. No correlation supports a role for ghrelin in PGH or pitGH secretion.
© 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel
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