Circulating GLP-1 in infants born small-for-gestational-age: breast-feeding versus formula-feeding

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Prenatal growth restraint associates with the risk for later diabetes, particularly if such restraint is followed by postnatal formula-feeding (FOF) rather than breast-feeding (BRF). Circulating incretins can influence the neonatal programming of hypothalamic setpoints for appetite and energy expenditure, and are thus candidate mediators of the long-term effects exerted by early nutrition. We have tested this concept by measuring (at birth and at age 4 months) the circulating concentrations of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) in BRF infants born appropriate-for-gestational-age (AGA; n=63) and in small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infants receiving either BRF (n=28) or FOF (n=26). At birth, concentrations of GLP-1 were similar in AGA and SGA infants. At 4 months, pre-feeding GLP-1 concentrations were higher than at birth; SGA-BRF infants had GLP-1 concentrations similar to those in AGA-BRF infants but SGA-FOF infants had higher concentrations. In conclusion, nutrition appears to influence the circulating GLP-1 concentrations in SGA infants and may thereby modulate long-term diabetes risk.

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This Study was supported by the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, by The Fondo Europeo de desarrollo Regional (FEDER), Madrid, Spain (PI11/0443) and by the research Foundation Sant Joan de Déu (AFR 00020). MD and LI are clinical investigators of CIBERDEM ( JB is an investigator of the Miguel Servet Fund from Carlos III National Institute of Health, Spain. AL-B is an investigator of the 13 Fund for Scientific research (Ministry of Education and Science, Spain). FdZ is a clinical investigator supported by the Clinical Research Council of the University Hospital Leuven.

Author contributions

MD contributed to the study design and researched data; JB and SG researched data; AL-B contributed to discussion; LI contributed to the study design; FdZ contributed to the study design and wrote the manuscript. All the authors reviewed/edited the manuscript.

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Correspondence to L Ibáñez.

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The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Supplementary Information accompanies this paper on International Journal of Obesity website

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