Acta Diabetologica

, Volume 56, Issue 4, pp 421–430 | Cite as

Impact of maternal BMI and gestational diabetes mellitus on maternal and cord blood metabolome: results from the PREOBE cohort study

  • Engy Shokry
  • Linda Marchioro
  • Olaf Uhl
  • Mercedes G. Bermúdez
  • Jose Antonio García-Santos
  • Mª Teresa Segura
  • Cristina Campoy
  • Berthold KoletzkoEmail author
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Pregnancy and diabetes



Maternal obesity and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) were frequently reported to be risk factors for obesity and diabetes in offspring. Our goal was to study the impact of maternal prepregnancy BMI (pBMI) and GDM on both maternal and cord blood metabolic profiles.


We used LC–MS/MS to measure 201 metabolites comprising phospholipids (PL), amino acids, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), organic acids, acyl carnitines (AC), and Krebs cycle metabolites in maternal plasma at delivery and cord plasma obtained from 325 PREOBE study participants.


Several metabolites were associated with pBMI/GDM in both maternal and cord blood (p < 0.05), while others were specific to either blood sources. BMI was positively associated with leucine, isoleucine, and inflammation markers in both mother and offspring, while β-hydroxybutyric acid was positively associated only in cord blood. GDM showed elevated levels of sum of hexoses, a characteristic finding in both maternal and cord blood. Uniquely in cord blood of offspring born to GDM mothers, free carnitine was significantly lower with the same tendency observed for AC, long-chain NEFA, PL, specific Krebs cycle metabolites, and β-oxidation markers.


Maternal BMI and GDM are associated with maternal and cord blood metabolites supporting the hypothesis of transgenerational cycle of obesity and diabetes.


Gestational diabetes Intrauterine environment Maternal obesity Maternal phenotypes Metabolomics 



The authors thank the study participants, the obstetricians, paediatricians and technicians of the EURISTIKOS team, and the PREOBE team at the University of Granada. We are grateful to Stephanie Winterstetter, Alexander Haag and Tina Honsowitz for their support in the analysis. The data presented are part of the PhD thesis by Linda Marchioro at the Medical Faculty, LMU.


This work was supported by Andalusian Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation, PREOBE Excellence Project (Ref. P06-CTS-02341), Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (Ref. BFU2012-40254-C03-01 and Ref. SAF2015-69265-C2-2-R), the European Research Council Advanced Grant META-GROWTH (ERC-2012-AdG 322605), European Commission research projects EarlyNutrition, FP7-FP7 KBBE-2011-1 (289346 y) and Horizon2020 DynaHEALTH (633595).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

None of the authors reports conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the bioethical Committees for clinical research of the Clinical University Hospital San Cecilio, the Mother-Infant University Hospital of Granada, and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2008.

Informed consent

Written informed consent was obtained from all participants at the study entry.

Supplementary material

592_2019_1291_MOESM1_ESM.docx (290 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 290 KB)
592_2019_1291_MOESM2_ESM.docx (69 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 68 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Metabolic and Nutritional Medicine, Dr. von Hauner Children’s HospitalLMU-Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, University of Munich Medical CentreMunichGermany
  2. 2.Department of Paediatrics, School of Medicine, EURISTIKOS Excellence Centre for Paediatric ResearchUniversity of GranadaGranadaSpain

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