Association between serum lipoprotein lipase mass concentration and subcutaneous fat accumulation during neonatal period

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Background/Objectives:Subcutaneous adipose tissue grows rapidly during the first months of life. Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) has a quantitatively important function in adipose tissue fat accumulation and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) is a determinant of neonatal growth. Recent studies showed that LPL mass in non-heparinized serum (LPLm) was an index of LPL-mediated lipolysis of plasma triacylglycerol (TG). The objective was to know the influence of serum LPL and IGF-I on neonatal subcutaneous fat growth, especially on catch-up growth in low birth weight infants.Subjects/Methods:We included 47 healthy neonates (30 males, 17 females), including 7 small for gestational age. We measured serum LPLm and IGF-I concentrations at birth and 1 month, and analyzed those associations with subcutaneous fat accumulation.Results:Serum LPLm and IGF-I concentrations increased markedly during the first month, and positively correlated with the sum of skinfold thicknesses both at birth (r=0.573, P=0.0001; r=0.457, P=0.0035) and at 1 month (r=0.614, P<0.0001; r=0.787, P<0.0001, respectively). In addition, serum LPLm concentrations correlated inversely to very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL)-TG levels (r=−0.692, P<0.0001 at birth; r=−0.429, P=0.0052 at 1 month). Moreover, the birth weight Z-score had an inverse association with the postnatal changes in individual serum LPLm concentrations (r=−0.639, P<0.0001).Conclusions:Both serum LPLm and IGF-I concentrations were the determinants of subcutaneous fat accumulation during the fetal and neonatal periods. During this time, LPL-mediated lipolysis of VLDL-TG may be one of the major mechanisms of rapid growth in subcutaneous fat tissue. Moreover, LPL, as well as IGF-I, may contribute to catch-up growth in smaller neonates. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2010) 64, 447–453; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2010.25; published online 3 March 2010

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