Maternal serum adiponectin levels during human pregnancy

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Pregnancy is a unique situation characterized by insulin resistance. The role of adiponectin, an insulin-sensitizing hormone, has not been completely clarified during pregnancy. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate adiponectin levels during pregnancy and postpartum.

Study design:

Adiponectin and leptin levels were tested in 80 pregnant women, 20 in each trimester (mean gestational age 10.5±1.9; 19.3±4.9; 39.3±0.8 weeks,) as well as 4 days postpartum.


Adiponectin levels during first (13.3±3.6 μg/ml), second (12.6±4.4 μg/ml) and third trimester (11.2±3.7 μg/ml) did not differ and were significantly higher than postpartum levels (8.8±2.1 μg/ml; P<0.0001, P<0.004 and P<0.02, respectively).


Despite increased insulin resistance during pregnancy, no significant alterations in adiponectin levels were observed. This may imply that the regulation of adiponectin during gestation is altered. The elevated gestational adiponectin levels are consistent with increased 'adiponectin resistance' during pregnancy.

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