American Diabetes Association
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Plasma amino acids in early and mid-pregnancy and their interplay with phospholipid fatty acids in association with the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus: results from a longitudinal prospective cohort

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posted on 2023-01-26, 17:14 authored by Jiaxi Yang, Jing Wu, Fasil Tekola-Ayele, Ling-Jun Li, Andrew A. Bremer, Ruijin Lu, Mohammad L. Rahman, Natalie L. Weir, Wei Wei Pang, Zhen Chen, Michael Y. Tsai, Cuilin Zhang


Objective We prospectively evaluated plasma AAs in early and mid-pregnancy and their interplay with phospholipid fatty acids (FAs) in association with GDM risk. 

Research Design and Methods From a longitudinal pregnancy cohort of 2,802 individuals, concentrations of 24 plasma AAs at 10-14 and 15-26 gestational weeks (GW) were assessed among 107 GDM cases and 214 non-GDM controls. We estimated odds ratios (aORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the associations of plasma AAs and the joint associations of plasma AAs and phospholipid FAs with GDM risk, adjusting for risk factors including age, pre-pregnancy body mass index, and family history of diabetes. 

Results Glycine at 10-14 GW was inversely associated with GDM (aOR [95% CI] per standard deviation (SD) increment: 0.55 [0.39-0.79]). Alanine, aspartic acid, and glutamic acid at 10-14 GW were positively associated with GDM (1.43 [1.08-1.88], 1.41 [1.11-1.80], and 1.39 [0.98-1.98]). At 15-26 GW, findings for glycine, alanine, aspartic acid, and glutamine-to-glutamic acid-ratio were consistent with the directions observed at 10-14 GW. Isoleucine, phenylalanine, and tyrosine were positively associated with GDM (1.64 [1.19-2.27], 1.15 [0.87-1.53], and 1.56 [1.16-2.09]). All p-values for linear trend<0.05. Several AAs and phospholipid FAs were significantly and jointly associated with GDM. For instance, the lowest risk was observed among women with higher glycine and lower even-chain saturated FAs at 10-14 GW (aOR [95% CI]: 0.15 [0.06, 0.37]). 

Conclusions Plasma AAs may be implicated in GDM development starting in early pregnancy. Associations of AAs with GDM may be enhanced in the co-presence of phospholipid FA profile.


This work was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development intramural funding and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding via contract numbers HHSN275200800013C, HHSN275200800002I, HHSN27500006, HHSN275200800003IC, HHSN275200800014C, HHSN275200800012C, HHSN275200800028C, HHSN275201000009C, and HHSN275201000001Z.