Associations of maternal and fetal SCD-1 markers with infant anthropometry and maternal diet: Findings from the ROLO study

Type Article

Journal Article


L. Marchioro; C. Hellmuth; O. Uhl; A. A. Geraghty; E. C. O'Brien; M. K. Horan; J. M. Donnelly; F. F. Kirchberg; B. Koletzko; F. M. McAuliffe

Year of publication



Clin Nutr








BACKGROUND: Elevated stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD-1) activity showed associations with obesity in cross-sectional studies. In non-pregnant populations, nutrition regulates SCD-1 transcription and activity. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the longitudinal associations of maternal and fetal SCD-1 activity markers with infant anthropometry up to 2 years of age, and to explore how selected dietary intakes modulate SCD-1 activity in pregnancy. METHODS: As a secondary analysis from the ROLO intervention study, which was conducted in a population at risk for macrosomia, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) from maternal plasma at 13 and 28 weeks' gestation and in cord blood were measured via liquid-chromatography-mass-spectrometry. Fatty acid ratios 18:1/18:0 and 16:1/16:0 were used as markers for SCD-1 activity ('desaturation indices', DIs). Relationships of DIs with infant anthropometry up to 2 years of age and maternal dietary parameters during pregnancy were investigated using adjusted linear regression models and p-values correction for multiple testing. RESULTS: 18:1/18:0, but not 16:1/16:0, was associated with measures of infant anthropometry at birth (maternal and fetal markers) and up to 2 years of age (maternal markers only). Dietary intakes did not show strong associations with 18:1/18:0, but 16:1/16:0 was associated with absolute and relative dietary intakes. CONCLUSIONS: In a population at risk for macrosomia, maternal SCD-1 activity measured via 18:1/18:0 was involved in the fetal programming of infant obesity, but could not be substantially modulated by short-term diet in pregnancy. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN Registration number: ISRCTN54392969 (