The leucine turnover in newborn infants is influenced by factors such as nutritional state and corticosteroid treatment. Little is known about maternal factors influencing the leucine turnover in the newborn. In order to approach the effect of preeclampsia in the mother on neonatal protein turnover, we studied the leucine turnover in preterm infants soon after birth and again after 7 days. Ten infants from preeclamptic mothers (birth weight 1,280 ± 240 g, gestational age 31 ± 2 weeks) and 15 control patients (birth weight 1,320 ± 210 g, gestational age 30 ± 2 weeks) were enrolled. The leucine turnover was measured using a primed constant 5-hour intravenous infusion of [1-13C]leucine within the first 24 h after delivery and again on day 7 of life. The turnover (leucine flux; μ was calculated from the enrichment in α-ketoisocaproic acid in plasma. The leucine turnover on day 1 was 300 ± 65 in the preeclampsia group and 358 ± 70 in the controls (ANOVA, p<0.05). The values on day 7 were 474 ± 73 in the preeclampsia group and 485 ± 80 in the control group (n.s.). To conclude, the leucine turnover on day 1 is lower in infants of preeclamptic mothers as compared with controls. This difference has disappeared on day 7 of life after receiving the same protein and energy intake. Copyright

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Biology of the Neonate
Department of Pediatrics

Saenz De Pipaón Marcos, M, Wattimena, J.L.D, van Beek, R.H.Th, Lotgering, F.K, & Sauer, P.J.J. (2002). Effect of preeclampsia in the mother on the leucine metabolism in the newborn infant. Biology of the Neonate, 81(1), 23–28. doi:10.1159/000047180