Maternal serum adiponectin multimers in preeclampsia

Shali Mazaki-Tovi, Roberto Romero*, Edi Vaisbuch, Juan Pedro Kusanovic, Offer Erez, Francesca Gotsch, Tinnakorn Chaiworapongsa, Nandor Gabor Than, Sun Kwon Kim, Chia Ling Nhan-Chang, Cristiano Jodicke, Percy Pacora, Lami Yeo, Zhong Dong, Bo Hyun Yoon, Sonia S. Hassan, Pooja Mittal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Obesity, insulin resistance, and dyslipidemia are associated with preeclampsia. Recently, "adipose tissue failure", characterized by dysregulation of adipokine production, has been implicated in the pathophysiology of these metabolic complications. Adiponectin, an insulin-sensitizing, anti-atherogenic, anti-inflammatory and angiogenic adipokine, circulates in oligomeric complexes including: low-molecular-weight (LMW) trimers, medium-molecular-weight (MMW) hexamers and high-molecular-weight (HMW) isoforms. These multimers exert differential biological effects, and HMW to total adiponectin ratio (SA) has been reported to be a specific marker of adiponectin activity. The aim of this study was to determine whether preeclampsia is associated with changes in circulating adiponectin multimers. Study design: This cross-sectional study included women with: 1) normal pregnancy (n=225); and 2) patients with mild preeclampsia (n=111). The study population was further stratified by first trimester BMI (normal weight <25 kg/m2 vs. overweight/obese ≥25 kg/m2). Serum adiponectin multimers (total, HMW, MMW and LMW) concentrations were determined by ELISA. Non-parametric statistics were used for analysis. Results: 1) The median maternal HMW and LMW adiponectin concentrations were lower in patients with preeclampsia than in those with normal pregnancies (P<0.001 and P=0.01, respectively); 2) patients with preeclampsia had a lower HMW/total adiponectin ratio (P<0.001) and higher MMW/total adiponectin and LMW/total adiponectin ratios than those with a normal pregnancy (P<0.001 and P=0.009, respectively); 3) the presence of preeclampsia was independently associated with lower maternal serum HMW adiponectin concentrations (P=0.001) and with a low HMW/total adiponectin ratio (P<0.001) after correction for maternal age, maternal BMI, the difference in BMI between the third and the first trimester, and gestational age at sampling; and 4) overweight/obese pregnant women had a lower median total and HMW adiponectin concentration than normal weight pregnant women among women with normal pregnancies, but not among those with preeclampsia. Conclusion: 1) Preeclampsia is associated with a lower median concentration of the HMW adiponectin isoform, the most active form of this adipokine, and a low HMW/total adiponectin ratio, a specific marker of adiponectin biologic activity; 2) in contrast to normal pregnancy, preeclampsia is not associated with decreased circulating adiponectin multimers in overweight/obese individuals suggesting altered regulation of this adipokine in preeclampsia; 3) collectively, these findings suggest that preeclampsia is characterized by alterations in adiponectin multimers and their relative distribution implying a role for adiponectin multimers in the mechanism of disease in preeclampsia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-363
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Perinatal Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Adipokines
  • BMI
  • High-molecular-weight (HMW) adiponectin
  • Low-molecular-weight (LMW) adiponectin
  • Medium-molecular-weight (MMW) adiponectin
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Pregnancy


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