Background: Retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4) is an adipocyte-derived ‘signal’ that may contribute to the pathogenesis of insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. The relationship of RBP4 with insulin resistance and metabolic risk in human beings has been the subject of several studies. Subjects born small for gestational age (SGA) are at risk of insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. Though RBP4 could represent an early marker of insulin resistance, to date, none have determined RBP4 in SGA children. Aim: Our aim was to measure RBP4 concentrations in cord blood of SGA newborns compared with those in children born with a birth weight appropriate for gestational age (AGA) and to determine whether serum RBP4 levels at birth correlate with insulin sensitivity markers. Subjects and methods: Sixty-four newborns, 17 born SGA (mean gestational age: 36.4±2.1 weeks), and 47 born AGA (mean gestational age: 37.0±3.6 weeks) were studied. The main outcome measures included anthropometry, lipid profile, insulin, homeostasis model assessment, quantitative insulin-sensitivity check index, adiponectin, and RBP4. Results: RBP4 concentrations were significantly reduced in SGA newborns (p<0.002). No relationship was found between RBP4 and insulin sensitivity parameters. Stepwise regression analysis revealed that birth weight was the major predictor of RBP4 serum concentrations (p<0.001). Conclusion: RBP4 is reduced in SGA newborns, birth weight representing the major determinant of RBP4 concentrations, and is not related to insulin sensitivity. No significant difference in adiponectin levels and insulin sensitivity markers was found between SGA and AGA neonates.
Adipocytokinesadiponectininsulin sensitivityretinol-binding protein 4small for gestational age
1.Molecular Endocrinology Unit — DPUO ‘Bambino Gesù’ Children’s Hospital — ‘Rina Balducci’ Center of Pediatric Endocrinology, Department of Public Health and Cell Biology, Room E-178Tor Vergata UniversityRomeItaly
2.Division of Neonatology, S. Chiara HospitalUniversity of PisaPisaItaly