Growth patterns during childhood and the relationship with acylation-stimulating protein
Background/Objectives Acylation-stimulating protein (ASP) is an adipose tissue-derived hormone, which stimulates glucose and free fatty acid (FFA) uptake into adipocytes. Changes in ASP metabolism are associated with alterations in lipid metabolism. As postnatal catch-up growth has been associated with dyslipidaemia in later life, we investigated the association between ASP and birth size, adult size and different growth patterns during childhood. Methods The associations were investigated by multiple regression analyses in 285 young adults, aged 18-24. Subsequently, differences in ASP were analysed in four clinically relevant subgroups, young adults either born small for gestational age with short stature (SGA-S) or with catch-up growth (SGA-CU), or born appropriate for gestational age with idiopathic short stature (ISS) or with normal stature (controls). Results Weight gain during childhood, particularly fat accumulation, was positively related to ASP levels in early adulthood, independent of birth size, age and gender. Foetal growth, reflected by birth size, was not related to ASP levels. Between the subgroups, no differences in ASP were found, but SGA-CU and ISS subjects had significantly higher levels of FFA. Conclusion Exaggerated weight gain during childhood, but not foetal growth, contributes to alterations in ASP metabolism, which may be associated with impaired FFA uptake and delayed triglycerides clearance. Therefore, exaggerated weight gain during childhood should be prevented.