Characterizing the Effects of Diabetes and Obesity on Insulin and Leptin Levels amongst Pregnant Women

Andrea W. Johnson, Denis Snegovskikh, Lisa Parikh, Renata B. Deaguiar, Christina S. Han, Janice J. Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective âIn this study, we assess the impact of obesity and diabetes on maternal brain and periphery, as well as fetal exposure to insulin and leptin, and two hormones that play an important role in regulating energy homeostasis. Study Design âFasting maternal plasma, fetal cord vein and artery plasma, and maternal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were collected in 37 women (12 lean, nondiabetic [prepregnancy body mass index (BMI): 22.9 ± 1.7 kg/m 2[; 12 overweight/obese nondiabetic [BMI: 37.8 ± 7.3 kg/m 2[; 13 gestational/type 2 diabetes mellitus [BMI: 29.8 ± 7.3 kg/m 2[) with uncomplicated singleton pregnancies undergoing elective Cesarean delivery. HbA1C, insulin, glucose, and leptin levels were measured. Results âCompared with lean mothers, mothers with obesity and diabetes mellitus (DM) had significantly lower CSF-to-plasma ratios of insulin. Moreover, mothers with obesity and DM had significantly lower cord arterial and cord venous to maternal plasma ratios of insulin, but not leptin, compared with lean mothers. There were no differences in CSF and cord blood insulin and leptin levels between obese and DM mothers. Conclusion âCompared with lean individuals, mothers with obesity and DM have relative deficiencies in insulin exposure. The patterns observed in mothers with obesity and diabetes were similar highlighting the importance of the maternal metabolic environment in obesity and suggesting obese patients warrant further clinical focus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1094-1101
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Perinatology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • central nervous system
  • insulin
  • leptin
  • obesity
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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