OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relationship between fetoplacental leptin secretion and blood gases.
METHODS: We measured the levels of umbilical arterial and venous leptin, umbilical cord gas, umbilical venous blood glucose, and estradiol‐17β (E2) in 89 pregnant women. Correlation between the leptin levels and other variables (gestational age, birth weight, maternal body weight, height, body mass index, maternal body weight gain, placental weight, umbilical cord gas data, and levels of umbilical venous blood glucose and E2) were examined statistically.
RESULTS: Umbilical arterial and venous leptin levels were 7.64 ± 12.76 and 7.76 ± 13.17 (ng/mL), respectively, correlating positively with carbon dioxide pressure levels (r = 0.446, P < .001; r = 0.406, P < .001, respectively) and correlating inversely with pH (r = −0.337, P = .001; r = −0.247, P = .019, respectively). Umbilical venous glucose, E2, and other factors did not correlate with leptin levels.
CONCLUSION: Leptin secretion into the fetoplacental circulation may be associated with fetal hypercapnia, suggesting two important roles for leptin: one for basal control of fetal fat tissue and one as an acute stress‐related hormone.