Chemerin concentrations in maternal and fetal compartments: Implications for metabolic adaptations to normal human pregnancy

Michal Kasher-Merona, Shali Mazaki-Tovia, Ehud Barhod, Rina Hemi, Jigal Haas, Itai Gat, Eran Zilberberg, Yoav Yinon, Avraham Karasik, Hannah Kanety*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Objectives: Chemerin, a novel adipocytokine, has been implicated in major metabolic and inflammatory processes. Study aims were to determine whether circulating maternal chemerin concentration (1) differs between pregnant and non-pregnant women, (2) changes as a function of gestational age, and (3) correlates with maternal insulin resistance. In addition, we investigated which compartment, maternal, fetal or placental, is the source of chemerin in maternal circulation. Methods: The study included three groups: Non-pregnant (n=18), pregnant women in the first trimester (n=19) and pregnant women in the third trimester (n = 33). Chemerin was measured in cord blood and in maternal serum samples taken before and after delivery. Chemerin mRNA expression was evaluated in fetal and human adult tissues. Results: Chemerin serum concentration was significantly higher in pregnant women in the third trimester than in non-pregnant and pregnant women in the first trimester. Chemerin concentration positively correlated with body mass index (BMI) and insulin resistance. Antenatal chemerin concentration was significantly lower than that during the postpartum period. Neonatal chemerin did not correlate with maternal one. Chemerin mRNA expression was abundant in fetal and adult liver and omental fat, but relatively low in placenta. Conclusions: Chemerin is increased during normal gestation and is associated with maternal BMI and insulin resistance. Maternal tissues, possibly liver and adipose tissue, contribute to the increased maternal chemerin concentration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-378
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Perinatal Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2014


FundersFunder number
Mintz-Law Foundation of Tel-Aviv University
Talpiot Medical Leadership Program, Sheba Medical Center


    • Insulin resistance
    • Metabolic syndrome
    • Obesity
    • Placenta.


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