Evidence for differential regulation of the adipokine visfatin in the maternal and fetal compartments in normal spontaneous labor at term

Shali Mazaki-Tovi, Roberto Romero, Edi Vaisbuch, Sun Kwon Kim, Juan Pedro Kusanovic, Tinnakorn Chaiworapongsa, Pooja Mittal, Zhong Dong, Percy Pacora, Lami Yeo, Sonia S. Hassan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Visfatin, a novel adipokine with metabolic and immunoregulatory properties, has been implicated in the regulation of fetal growth, as well as in preterm labor. A gap in knowledge is whether spontaneous labor at term is associated with changes in the maternal and fetal concentrations of visfatin. The aim of this study was to determine if the presence of labor at term is associated with alterations in maternal and neonatal plasma visfatin concentrations.Study design: This cross-sectional study included 50 normal pregnant women at term and their appropriate-for-gestational age (AGA) neonates in the following groups: 1) 25 mother-neonate pairs delivered by elective cesarean section without spontaneous labor, and 2) 25 mother-neonate pairs who delivered vaginally following spontaneous labor. Maternal plasma and cord blood visfatin concentrations were determined by ELISA. Non-parametric statistics were used for analyses.Results: 1) The median visfatin concentration was higher in umbilical cord plasma of neonates born following a spontaneous labor at term than that of those who were born by an elective cesarean section (P=0.02); 2) in contrast, the median maternal plasma visfatin concentration did not differ significantly between patients with and without labor (P=0.44); and 3) there was a significant correlation between umbilical cord plasma concentration of visfatin and both maternal visfatin concentration (r=0.54, P=0.005) and gestational age (GA) at delivery (r=0.58; P=0.002) only in the absence of labor.Conclusion: Term labor is associated with increased fetal, but not maternal, circulating visfatin concentrations. Previous reports indicate that preterm labor leading to preterm delivery is characterized by an increase in maternal plasma concentrations of visfatin. The observations reported herein support the view that there are fundamental differences in the endocrine and metabolic adaptations in normal labor at term and preterm labor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-288
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Perinatal Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Adipokine
  • Body mass index (BMI)
  • Cord blood
  • Cytokine
  • Energy demands
  • Metabolism
  • Neonate
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Parturition
  • Pregnancy


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