Objective: Human fetuin/α2-HS-glycoprotein (AHSG) is a 49 kDa serum and tissue protein which is a natural inhibitor of insulin receptor signaling. We investigated serum AHSG levels during pregnancy and whether the protein is involved in insulin resistance observed in healthy pregnant women and patients with gestational diabetes. Design: One hundred and four healthy pregnant women and 23 of their neonates, 30 patients with gestational diabetes and their neonates and 30 healthy age-matched non-pregnant females as a control group were investigated in a case-control cross-sectional study. Methods: Serum AHSG was determined by radial immunodiffusion. Results: We observed an increase of serum AHSG concentration in the second and third trimesters. Gestational diabetes patients had significantly higher AHSG levels than healthy pregnant women and non-pregnant controls. There was a highly significant positive correlation between serum AHSG concentration and indirect parameters of insulin resistance, i.e. tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), leptin, C-peptide and C-peptide/blood glucose ratio. There was also a negative correlation between maternal AHSG, TNF-α, leptin levels and head circumference, body length and body weight of newborns. Conclusion: AHSG, TNF-α and leptin may contribute to insulin resistance during normal pregnancy and gestational diabet. AHSG along with these cytokines may also negatively regulate neonatal skeletal development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism