Author(s): Chen H, Ouyang Y
OBJECTIVE: To clarify the role of adipocytokine, adiponectin, and leptin in the pathogenesis of pre-eclampsia (PE) and determine the relationships between plasma adiponectin and leptin levels. METHOD: A total of 73 women in the third trimester of pregnancy were recruited, 53 women with PE (study patients) and 20 age- and BMI-matched normotensive women (healthy controls). They were divided into 3 groups: the 20 normotensive pregnant women (group 1); 32 women with mild pre-eclampsia (group 2); and 21 women with severe pre-eclampsia (group 3). The plasma levels of adiponectin and leptin are measured simultaneously and their correlation and balance were evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
RESULTS: Compared with controls, levels of adiponectin were significantly lower in women with mild or severe PE (P<0.01 for both groups) whereas levels of leptin were significantly higher in women with mild or severe PE (P<0.05 and P<0.01, respectively). There was a negative correlation between plasma levels of adiponectin and leptin in pre-eclamptic women (r=-0.76, P<0.01). Moreover, the adiponectin level to leptin level ratio was significantly lower in pre-eclamptic women than that in healthy controls (P<0.01). In the pre-eclamptic women serum levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol were significantly increased (P<0.01 for all), while high-density lipoprotein cholesterol was significantly decreased compared to levels in normotensive pregnant women (P<0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that there is an imbalance between adiponectin and leptin in the plasma of pre-eclamptic women. Reduced adiponectin and elevated leptin levels may be involved in the pathogenesis of PE and associated with the development of severe disease.