Affiliations: Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, University of California San Diego/Rady Children’s Hospital of San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA
Corresponding author: Jae H. Kim, MD, PhD, 200W. Arbor Dr. MPF 1140 San Diego, CA 92103-8774, USA. Tel.: +1 619 543 3759; Fax: +1 619 543 3812; [email protected]
BACKGROUND: Galectin-3 binding protein (Gal3BP) is a glycoprotein isolated in colostrum that may be an immunologically active component with effects on the neonatal immune system. This compound has been found in the blood of term newborn infants, but has not been studied in preterm infants.
OBJECTIVE: Compare umbilical cord plasma Gal3BP concentration between preterm and term infants.
STUDY DESIGN: Observational study of mother-infant pairs consented at UCSD Medical Center comparing umbilical cord plasma Gal3BP concentration in preterm and term infants. Umbilical cord plasma was collected at birth and stored at −80°C before Gal3BP analysis by ELISA. This study was powered to evaluate differences in preterm and term infant Gal3BP concentration. The secondary aim was to determine the effect of maternal and infant clinical factors on Gal3BP concentration.
RESULTS: A total of 64 preterm and 30 term umbilical cord plasma samples were analyzed. By univariate analysis, Gal3BP concentration was elevated in the setting of prematurity, maternal diabetes, antenatal steroid exposure, and increasing maternal parity (p < 0.05); and decreased in chorioamnionitis (p = 0.03). Using a multiple linear regression model prematurity, chorioamnionitis and maternal diabetes remained significant.
CONCLUSIONS: Umbilical cord plasma Gal3BP concentration is elevated in prematurity. This may reflect inflammatory states in infant and mother, but further study is warranted.