Circulating adipocyte fatty acid binding protein levels in healthy preterm infants: Positive correlation with weight gain and total-cholesterol levels

First Department of Pediatrics, Athens University Medical School, Greece. <>
Early human development (Impact Factor: 1.79). 03/2010; 86(4):197-201. DOI: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2010.02.008
Source: PubMed


Adipocyte fatty acid binding protein (a-FABP) has been suggested to play an important role in the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome. Preterm infants are at risk for the later development of insulin resistance, and, possibly, other components of metabolic syndrome.
To determine circulating levels of a-FABP in preterm infants and examine possible associations of a-FABP with metabolic indices (serum lipids, glucose, and insulin levels, and homeostasis model assessment index of insulin resistance [HOMA-IR]), levels of leptin and adiponectin, anthropometric parameters and weight gain.
Prospective cohort study.
55 healthy preterm (mean [SD] gestational age 32.8 [1.8] weeks) and 23 fullterm infants (reference group).
Serum a-FABP, lipids, glucose, insulin, leptin and adiponectin levels at 31.9 [10.4] days of life.
Serum a-FABP levels did not differ significantly between preterm and fullterm infants. A-FABP levels correlated positively with total-cholesterol [total-C] in both preterm and fullterm infants (beta=0.33; p=0.01 and beta=0.33; p=0.04, respectively). In addition to total-C, weight gain correlated independently with a-FABP levels in preterm infants (beta=0.36, p=0.01).
An association between a-FABP levels and indices of insulin resistance was not present in infants studied. As the development of insulin resistance in children born prematurely is possibly associated with weight gain in early postnatal life, follow-up of our study population is necessary to demonstrate whether a-FABP levels, shown to correlate with weight gain in preterm infants, are a predictive marker for the later development of insulin resistance in these infants.

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