Association between TGFβ1 Levels in Cord Blood and Weight Progress in the First Year of Life
Transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGFβ1) is an adipokine secreted from adipose tissue, placental tissue and immune cells with a role in cell proliferation, cell apoptosis and angiogenic proliferation. The role of TGFβ1 in pregnancy and child growth and the source of cord TGFβ1 are yet unknown. In this study, we sought to clarify the correlation of TGFβ1 levels with parameters of intrauterine growth and child growth during the first year of life, and to determine whether their source is primarily of fetal or maternal origin. Serum samples and anthropometric measurements were obtained from the LIFE Child cohort of 79 healthy mother–child pairs. Measurements were conducted using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Statistical analyses including Mann–Whitney U-test, correlation analyses and linear regression analyses were performed using GraphPad Prism and R. TGFβ1 levels were significantly higher in cord than in maternal serum, suggesting a fetal origin. Multivariate regression analyses revealed strong positive associations between cord TGFβ1 levels at birth and child weight at U6. Furthermore, cord TGFβ1 was significantly correlated with child weight at approximately one year of age. An increase of 10,000 pg/mL in cord TGFβ1 concentrations at birth was associated with a higher body weight of 201 g at roughly one year of age when adjusted for sex.