59. Associations of cord blood leptin and adiponectin with children’s cognitive abilities (abstract)

Li N, Arbuckle TE, Muckle G, Lanphear BP, Boivin M, Chen A, Dodds L, Fraser WD, Ouellet E, Séguin JR, Velez MP, Yolton K, Braun JM. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2018 Oct 25;99:257-264. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2018.10.021


Adipocytokines may play a role in fetal programming of neurodevelopment. We aimed to investigate the associations between cord blood adipocytokine concentrations and children’s intelligence test scores.


We used data from two ongoing pregnancy cohorts in North America: the Maternal-Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (MIREC, n = 429) and Health Outcomes and Measures of the Environment (HOME, n = 183) Studies. Umbilical cord blood adipocytokine concentrations were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. We assessed children’s Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and its components using the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scales of Intelligence-III or Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-IV. We used linear regression and linear mixed models to estimate associations between log2-transformed adipocytokine concentrations and children’s IQ after adjusting for sociodemographic, perinatal, and child factors.


After adjusting for covariates, cord blood adiponectin was positively associated with children’s full-scale IQ scores at age 3 years in the MIREC Study (β = 1.4, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.2, 2.5) and at ages 5 and 8 years in the HOME Study (β = 1.7, CI: −0.1, 3.5). Adiponectin was positively associated with performance IQ in both studies (MIREC: β = 2.0, CI: 0.7, 3.3; HOME: β = 2.2, CI: 0.5, 3.9). Adiponectin was positively associated with working memory composite scores at age 8 in the HOME Study (β = 3.1, CI: 1.0, 5.2). Leptin was not associated with children’s IQ in either study.


Cord blood adiponectin was associated with higher full-scale and performance IQ and working memory composite scores in children. Future studies are needed to explore the mechanisms underlying these associations.