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Cerebrospinal fluid levels of insulin, leptin, and agouti-related protein in relation to BMI in pregnant women

Journal article
Authors Carolina Gustavsson
Ulrika Andersson Hall
A. Pelanis
O. I. Karlsson
L. Andersson
Pernilla Svedin
Carina Mallard
A. Myntti
Ulf Andreasson
Henrik Zetterberg
Kaj Blennow
Agneta Holmäng
Published in Obesity
Volume 24
Issue 6
Pages 1299-1304
ISSN 1930-7381
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Physiology
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Pages 1299-1304
Language en
Keywords blood-brain-barrier, energy-balance, body-weight, food-intake, proopiomelanocortin, homeostasis, rat, resistance, hormone, neurons
Subject categories Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine


ObjectiveDuring pregnancy, metabolic interactions must be adapted, though neuroendocrine mechanisms for increased food intake are poorly understood. The objective of this study was to characterize differences in insulin, leptin, and agouti-related protein (AgRP) levels in serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in pregnant women with normal weight (NW) and pregnant women with overweight (OW) or obesity (OB). Placenta as a source for increased peripheral AgRP levels during pregnancy was also investigated. MethodsWomen were recruited at admission for elective cesarean section. Insulin, AgRP, and leptin were measured in serum and CSF from 30 NW, 25 OW, and 21 OB at term. Serum during pregnancy and placenta at term were collected for further AgRP analysis. ResultsImmunohistology showed placental production of AgRP and serum AgRP levels increased throughout pregnancy. CSF AgRP, leptin, and insulin levels were higher in OW and OB than NW. Serum leptin and insulin levels were higher and AgRP lower in OB than NW. ConclusionsHigh serum AgRP levels might protect from the suppressive effects of leptin during pregnancy. Pregnant women with OB and OW might further be protected from the suppressive effect of leptin by high CSF AgRP levels. Evidence was found, for the first time, of human placental AgRP production mirrored by levels in the circulation.

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