Cord blood immune biomarkers in small for gestational age births

Nana Matoba*, F. Ouyang, Karen K L Mestan, Nicolas F M Porta, C. M. Pearson, K. M. Ortiz, H. C. Bauchner, B. S. Zuckerman, X. Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Fetal growth restriction is a risk factor for development of adulthood diseases, but the biological mechanism of this association remains unknown. Limited biomarkers have been studied in settings of preterm birth and maternal inflammation, but the relationship between a wide range of immune biomarkers and fetal growth has not been studied. The hypothesis of this study was that fetal growth restriction is associated with altered immune biomarker levels. We examined the relationship between small for gestational age (SGA) status and 27 umbilical cord blood immune biomarkers. This study was part of a large-scale cohort study of preterm birth and low birth weight conducted at Boston Medical Center, an inner city, predominantly minority patient population. Growth status was determined based on birth weight standardized to an internal reference. There were 74 SGA births and 319 appropriate for age (AGA) births with complete clinical and biomarker data. Adjusting for covariates and using AGA as reference, SGA births had lower levels of log IL-1β (ng/l; β 0.38, 95% CI 0.57, 0.19, P < 0.01), log BDNF (β 0.29, 95% CI 0.55, 0.03, P < 0.05) and log NT-3 (β 0.46, 95% CI 0.77, 0.15, P < 0.01). No associations were found between other biomarkers and SGA. In conclusion, three biomarkers were selectively associated with SGA status. Our results provide information that could be used to guide additional studied aimed at determining mechanisms that contribute to fetal growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-98
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011


  • Key wordsbiological markers
  • fetal blood
  • infant
  • small for gestational age

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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