Targeted Metabolomics Demonstrates Distinct and Overlapping Maternal Metabolites Associated With BMI, Glucose, and Insulin Sensitivity During Pregnancy Across Four Ancestry Groups.


Journal Article

OBJECTIVE: We used targeted metabolomics in pregnant mothers to compare maternal metabolite associations with maternal BMI, glycemia, and insulin sensitivity. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Targeted metabolomic assays of clinical metabolites, amino acids, and acylcarnitines were performed on fasting and 1-h postglucose serum samples from European ancestry, Afro-Caribbean, Thai, and Mexican American mothers (400 from each ancestry group) who participated in the Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome (HAPO) Study and underwent an oral glucose tolerance test at ∼28 weeks gestation. RESULTS: K-means clustering, which identified patterns of metabolite levels across ancestry groups, demonstrated that, at both fasting and 1-h, levels of the majority of metabolites were similar across ancestry groups. Meta-analyses demonstrated association of a broad array of fasting and 1-h metabolites, including lipids and amino acids and their metabolites, with maternal BMI, glucose levels, and insulin sensitivity before and after adjustment for the different phenotypes. At fasting and 1 h, a mix of metabolites was identified that were common across phenotypes or associated with only one or two phenotypes. Partial correlation estimates, which allowed comparison of the strength of association of different metabolites with maternal phenotypes, demonstrated that metabolites most strongly associated with different phenotypes included some that were common across as well as unique to each phenotype. CONCLUSIONS: Maternal BMI and glycemia have metabolic signatures that are both shared and unique to each phenotype. These signatures largely remain consistent across different ancestry groups and may contribute to the common and independent effects of these two phenotypes on adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Jacob, S; Nodzenski, M; Reisetter, AC; Bain, JR; Muehlbauer, MJ; Stevens, RD; Ilkayeva, OR; Lowe, LP; Metzger, BE; Newgard, CB; Scholtens, DM; Lowe, WL; HAPO Study Cooperative Research Group,

Published Date

  • July 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 40 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 911 - 919

PubMed ID

  • 28637889

Pubmed Central ID

  • 28637889

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1935-5548

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2337/dc16-2453


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States