, Volume 157, Issue 4, pp 321-326

Low birth weight at term impairs cord serum lipoprotein compositions and concentrations

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The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of low birth weight at term on serum lipoproteins . Lipid and apolipoprotein (apo) contents were investigated in cord sera of small-for-gestational-age (SGA) newborns at term (2290 g ± 33 g) and compared with those of appropriate-for-gestational-age (AGA) newborns (3570 g ± 93 g). In SGA newborns, VLDL amounts were twofold higher, whereas LDL, HDL2 and HDL3 contents were lower than in AGA newborns (−38% ,−44% and −42%, respectively). VLDL-triacylglycerols (TG), apo B-100 and apo E were higher, while VLDL-apo C-II values were 39% lower in SGA newborns compared with those of AGA newborns. In SGA newborns, HDL2-apolipoprotein, phospholipid and cholesteryl ester levels were respectively reduced to 70%, 50% and 40% compared with AGA values. HDL3-apolipoprotein and phospholipid contents were also decreased in SGA newborns (−43% and −60%, respectively).The different HDL2 and HDL3-apolipoproteins (apo A-I, A-II, C-III and E) were significantly decreased in SGA newborns.

Conclusion Intra-uterine growth retardation was accompanied by alterations in apolipoproteins and lipid compositions in the four lipoprotein fractions, which may impair lipid metabolism. Follow up studies on lipoprotein patterns in SGA infants are required to investigate whether such abnormalities at birth lead to diseases in adulthood.

Received: 22 November 1996 and in revised form: 30 June 1997 / Accepted 1 July 1997