Longitudinal plasma metabolomics profile in pregnancy—A study in an ethnically diverse U.S. pregnancy cohort

Susanna D. Mitro, Jing Wu, Mohammad L. Rahman, Yaqi Cao, Yeyi Zhu, Zhen Chen, Liwei Chen, Mengying Li, Stefanie N. Hinkle, Andrew A. Bremer, Natalie L. Weir, Michael Y. Tsai, Yiqing Song, Katherine L. Grantz, Bizu Gelaye, Cuilin Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Amino acids, fatty acids, and acylcarnitine metabolites play a pivotal role in maternal and fetal health, but profiles of these metabolites over pregnancy are not completely established. We described longitudinal trajectories of targeted amino acids, fatty acids, and acylcarnitines in pregnancy. We quantified 102 metabolites and combinations (37 fatty acids, 37 amino acids, and 28 acylcarnitines) in plasma samples from pregnant women in the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Fetal Growth Studies—Singletons cohort (n = 214 women at 10–14 and 15–26 weeks, 107 at 26–31 weeks, and 103 at 33–39 weeks). We used linear mixed models to estimate metabolite trajectories and examined variation by body mass index (BMI), race/ethnicity, and fetal sex. After excluding largely undetected metabolites, we analyzed 77 metabolites and combinations. Levels of 13 of 15 acylcarnitines, 7 of 25 amino acids, and 18 of 37 fatty acids significantly declined over gestation, while 8 of 25 amino acids and 10 of 37 fatty acids significantly increased. Several trajectories appeared to differ by BMI, race/ethnicity, and fetal sex although no tests for interactions remained significant after multiple testing correction. Future studies merit longitudinal measurements to capture metabolite changes in pregnancy, and larger samples to examine modifying effects of maternal and fetal characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3080
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Acylcarnitines
  • Amino acids
  • Fattyacids
  • Longitudinal
  • Non-linear
  • Pregnancy
  • Targeted metabolomics


Dive into the research topics of 'Longitudinal plasma metabolomics profile in pregnancy—A study in an ethnically diverse U.S. pregnancy cohort'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this