Repository logo

The role of inflammatory pathway genetic variation on maternal metabolic phenotypes during pregnancy

Published version



Change log


Urbanek, M 
Hayes, MG 
Lee, H 
Freathy, RM 
Lowe, LP 


BACKGROUND: Since mediators of inflammation are associated with insulin resistance, and the risk of developing diabetes mellitus and gestational diabetes, we hypothesized that genetic variation in members of the inflammatory gene pathway impact glucose levels and related phenotypes in pregnancy. We evaluated this hypothesis by testing for association between genetic variants in 31 inflammatory pathway genes in the Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome (HAPO) cohort, a large multiethnic multicenter study designed to address the impact of glycemia less than overt diabetes on pregnancy outcome. RESULTS: Fasting, 1-hour, and 2-hour glucose, fasting and 1-hour C-peptide, and HbA1c levels were measured in blood samples obtained from HAPO participants during an oral glucose tolerance test at 24-32 weeks gestation. We tested for association between 458 SNPs mapping to 31 genes in the inflammatory pathway and metabolic phenotypes in 3836 European ancestry and 1713 Thai pregnant women. The strongest evidence for association was observed with TNF alpha and HbA1c (rs1052248; 0.04% increase per allele C; p-value = 4.4×10(-5)), RETN and fasting plasma glucose (rs1423096; 0.7 mg/dl decrease per allele A; p-value = 1.1×10(-4)), IL8 and 1 hr plasma glucose (rs2886920; 2.6 mg/dl decrease per allele T; p-value = 1.3×10(-4)), ADIPOR2 and fasting C-peptide (rs2041139; 0.55 ug/L decrease per allele A; p-value = 1.4×10(-4)), LEPR and 1-hour C-peptide (rs1171278; 0.62 ug/L decrease per allele T; p-value = 2.4×10(-4)), and IL6 and 1-hour plasma glucose (rs6954897; -2.29 mg/dl decrease per allele G, p-value = 4.3×10(-4)). CONCLUSIONS: Based on the genes surveyed in this study the inflammatory pathway is unlikely to have a strong impact on maternal metabolic phenotypes in pregnancy although variation in individual members of the pathway (e.g. RETN, IL8, ADIPOR2, LEPR, IL6, and TNF alpha,) may contribute to metabolic phenotypes in pregnant women.



Asian Continental Ancestry Group, Blood Glucose, C-Peptide, Cohort Studies, European Continental Ancestry Group, Fasting, Female, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Glucose Tolerance Test, Hemoglobin A, Glycosylated, Humans, Hyperglycemia, Inflammation, Interleukin-6, Interleukin-8, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Complications, Pregnancy Outcome, Receptors, Adiponectin, Receptors, Leptin, Resistin, Signal Transduction, Thailand, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha

Journal Title

PLoS One

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title



The study is funded by grants R01 DK067459, R01-HD34242 and R01-HD34243 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases, by the National Center for Research Resources (M01-RR00048, M01-RR00080), and by the American Diabetes Association. RMF is funded by a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship (Wellcome Trust grant: 085541/Z/08/Z). ATH is employed as a core member of the Peninsula NIHR Clinical Research Facility. Support has also been provided to local field centers by Diabetes UK (RD04/0002756), Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, KK Women's and Children's Hospital, Mater Mother's Hospital, Novo Nordisk, the Myre Sim Fund of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, and the Howard and Carol Bernick Family Foundation. The funders had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.