Denise M. Scholtens , 1 , James R. Bain 2 , 4 , Anna C. Reisetter 1 , Michael J. Muehlbauer 2 , 4 , Michael Nodzenski 1 , Robert D. Stevens 2 , 4 , Olga Ilkayeva 2 , 4 , Lynn P. Lowe 1 , Boyd E. Metzger 1 , Christopher B. Newgard 2 , 4 , William L. Lowe Jr. 1
05 April 2016
Maternal metabolites and metabolic networks underlying associations between maternal glucose during pregnancy and newborn birth weight and adiposity demand fuller characterization. We performed targeted and nontargeted gas chromatography/mass spectrometry metabolomics on maternal serum collected at fasting and 1 h following glucose beverage consumption during an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) for 400 northern European mothers at ∼28 weeks' gestation in the Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome Study. Amino acids, fatty acids, acylcarnitines, and products of lipid metabolism decreased and triglycerides increased during the OGTT. Analyses of individual metabolites indicated limited maternal glucose associations at fasting, but broader associations, including amino acids, fatty acids, carbohydrates, and lipids, were found at 1 h. Network analyses modeling metabolite correlations provided context for individual metabolite associations and elucidated collective associations of multiple classes of metabolic fuels with newborn size and adiposity, including acylcarnitines, fatty acids, carbohydrates, and organic acids. Random forest analyses indicated an improved ability to predict newborn size outcomes by using maternal metabolomics data beyond traditional risk factors, including maternal glucose. Broad-scale association of fuel metabolites with maternal glucose is evident during pregnancy, with unique maternal metabolites potentially contributing specifically to newborn birth weight and adiposity.