Betatrophin has recently been introduced as a novel adipokine/hepatokine, which promotes pancreatic β cell proliferation and improves glucose tolerance in several mouse models of insulin resistance. However, regulation of betatrophin in gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), as well as its association with markers of obesity, such as glucose and lipid metabolism, inflammation, and renal function, have not been elucidated.
Design and methods
Circulating betatrophin was quantified in 74 women with GDM and 74 healthy and gestational age-matched controls by ELISA. In a subset of the study population comprising of 85 patients (41 previous controls, 44 previous women with GDM), postpartum betatrophin levels were measured in a follow-up study.
Median (interquartile range) serum betatrophin levels were higher in women with GDM (1.79 (0.53) μg/l) as compared to non-diabetic pregnant controls (1.58 (0.44) μg/l) (P=0.002). In multivariate analysis, GDM status was an independent and positive predictor of circulating betatrophin (P=0.001). Furthermore, betatrophin levels were significantly higher during gestation (1.70 (0.53) μg/l) as compared to postpartum levels (1.55 (0.66) μg/l) (P=0.028). Moreover, postpartum irisin remained a positive and independent predictor of postpartum betatrophin concentrations.
Women with GDM have significantly higher betatrophin levels as compared to healthy pregnant controls and GDM status positively predicts circulating betatrophin. Furthermore, postpartum levels are significantly lower as compared to betatrophin concentrations during pregnancy. Moreover, irisin is a significant predictor of postpartum betatrophin levels.