Disparity in fetal growth between twin and singleton gestation: The role of adipokines

R. Zemet, Y. Shulman, R. Hemi, B. Brandt, E. Sivan, H. Kanety, S. Mazaki-Tovi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective:Twin pregnancies are characterized by unique pattern of attenuated fetal weight gain during late gestation compared with singleton gestation. The mechanism(s) responsible for regulating twin growth has not yet elucidated. Leptin and adiponectin are two adipocytokines implicated in metabolism and energy balance of fetuses, newborns and adults. Moreover, these hormones have been suggested to play a role in fetal growth. The objective of the study was to determine cord blood adiponectin and leptin in twins and singletons, with and without growth impairment.Study design:This was a case-control study. It included two groups of newborns, matched for gestational age and birth weight percentile: singleton (n=60 newborns) and twins (n=44 newborns). Adiponectin and leptin were determined in cord blood, and compared between the groups according to clinical and demographic characteristics. Non-parametric and parametric statistical methods were employed.Results:Median adiponectin and leptin concentrations were lower in twins vs singletons (P<0.001 for both comparisons). Among small for gestational age newborns (SGA), median concentration of adiponectin (P=0.04), but not leptin (P=0.1), was lower in twins compared to singletons. In pooled analysis (singleton plus twins), cord blood adiponectin and leptin were strongly correlated with gestational age (P<0.001 and P=0.005, respectively) and birth weight (P<0.001 and P<0.001, respectively). Regression analysis revealed that plurality (P=0.02) was significantly and independently associated with cord blood adiponectin concentrations, after adjustment for confounding variables. Similar regression in which leptin was the independent variable revealed that only birth weight (P=0.01) was significantly and independently associated with cord blood leptin concentrations.Conclusions:Twin pregnancies are associated with lower cord blood concentrations of adiponectin and leptin compared with singleton gestations. However, only cord blood adiponectin, but not leptin, was lower in SGA neonates. Collectively, these data suggest that adiponectin may be implicated in the mechanism accounting for the growth disparity between twins and singletons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-40
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018


FundersFunder number
Talpiot Medical Leadership Program, Sheba Medical Center


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