Children developing type 1 diabetes may have risk markers already in their umbilical cord blood. It is hypothesized that the risk for type 1 diabetes at an early age may be increased by a pathogenic pregnancy and be reflected in altered cord-blood composition. In this study metabolomics was used to test if the cord-blood lipidome was affected in children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes before eight years of age. The present case-control study of 76 index children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes before eight years of age and 76 healthy controls matched for HLA risk, gender and date of birth as well as mother’s age and gestational age revealed that cord-blood phosphatidylcholines and phosphatidylethanolamines were significantly decreased in children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes before four years of age. Reduced levels of triglycerides correlated to gestational age in both index and control children and to age at diagnosis only in the index children. Finally, gestational infection during the first trimester was associated with lower cord blood total lysophosphatidylcholines in both index and control children. In conclusion, metabolomics of umbilical cord blood may identify children at increased risk for type 1 diabetes. Low phospholipid levels at birth may represent key mediators of the immune system and contribute in early induction of islet autoimmunity.
- Received February 6, 2013.
- Accepted August 1, 2013.
- © 2013 by the American Diabetes Association.
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