Poster Topical Area: Maternal, Perinatal and Pediatric Nutrition

Location: Hall D

Poster Board Number: 322

P13-064 - Choline and placental macronutrient metabolism in gestational diabetes-complicated pregnancies

Sunday, Jun 10
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM


Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), characterized by hyperglycemia during pregnancy, complicates 4.6 – 9.2% of pregnancies in the US. Maternal obesity is a major risk factor of GDM. Macrosomia, defined as a birth weight greater than 4kg, is one of the leading neonatal complications of GDM which has lasting influence on affected infants, increasing their risk of cardio-metabolic diseases in adulthood. Increased placental transport has been proposed as a mechanism by which fetuses amass excess macronutrients leading to macrosomia. Choline, a semi-essential nutrient that participates in lipid metabolism and transport, normalizes fetal growth and placental macronutrient transport at mid-gestation in GDM mice in our prior study.


We seek to determine whether choline intake is associated with fetal growth outcomes in human pregnancies affected by GDM.


We recruited 10 GDM and 10 non-GDM pregnant women 20 – 33 weeks gestation from SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY and collected their 3-day 24-hr dietary recalls at the 3rd trimester of pregnancy to assess choline intake. We also collected birth outcome data from medical charts and placentas at delivery to assess macronutrient transporter expression.


Our preliminary results indicated that the GDM group had higher pre-pregnancy BMI than the non-GDM group (GDM: 33.8±8.5 vs Control: 25.5±4.1 kg/m2). Choline intake of the two groups did not differ (GDM: 448.2±113.2 vs Control: 485.5±265.6 mg, p > 0.05). Birth weight and macrosomia incidence did not differ between groups and were not associated with maternal choline intake in this pilot dataset. Placental fatty acid transport protein 1 (FATP1) expression was positively associated with the expression of enzymes involved in choline metabolism including phosphatidylethanolamine methyltransferase (PEMT) (p=0.039) and choline-phosphate cytidylyltransferase A (PCYT1A) (p = 0.003).


The preliminary data did not support a correlation between maternal choline intake and GDM-related macrosomia. However, placental choline metabolism may be related to its transport. A larger sample size is needed to provide more insight into the correlation of maternal choline status with GDM birth outcomes and placental function.

Funding Source: CUNY Interdisciplinary Research Grant

CoAuthors: Mudar Dalloul, MD – SUNY Downstate Medical Center; John Kral, MD – SUNY Downstate Medical Center; Michele Haughton, MD – SUNY Downstate ; Yaelle Joselit, MS RDN – Brooklyn College; Xinyin Jiang, RDN, PhD – Brooklyn College

Chauntelle Jack-Roberts

Research Assistant
Brooklyn College
Brooklyn, New York