, Volume 22, Issue 11, pp 1587-1595
Date: 24 Sep 2011

Associations of pregnancy characteristics with maternal and cord steroid hormones, angiogenic factors, and insulin-like growth factor axis

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Abstract

Background

The objective of this study was to comprehensively profile biological factors in pregnancy that have been postulated to be important components of the in utero environment and may also have relevance to later susceptibility to cancer and other chronic diseases.

Methods

Steroid sex hormones, IGFs, and angiogenic factors were measured in maternal and cord serum from term normotensive pregnancies. Spearman correlations and linear regression estimated relationships among the biological factors and clinical characteristics.

Results

The analytes were generally not correlated between maternal and fetal circulations. However, significant correlations were demonstrated among several analytes within maternal or cord samples. A few analytes were associated with clinical characteristics (e.g., maternal IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 were inversely correlated with offspring birth weight, while maternal leptin and cord testosterone were positively correlated with this characteristic). Maternal androgens were higher in African-Americans than whites, and maternal PlGF and soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1) were higher in male than female offspring.

Conclusions

There were significant correlations among analytes, but the patterns differed depending on whether they were measured in the maternal or fetal circulation. The number and magnitude of correlations among analytes, however, should affect the design and interpretation of future studies.