- Adiponectin is an anti-diabetic, anti-atherogenic, anti-inflammatory, and angiogenic adipokine that circulates in oligomeric complexes including: low molecular weight (LMW) trimers, medium molecular weight (MMW) hexamers, and high molecular weight (HMW) isoforms. The aim of this study was to determine whether there are changes in adiponectin multimers in pregnancy and as a function of maternal weight. In this cross-sectional study, plasma concentrations of total, HMW, MMW, and LMW adiponectin were determined in women included in three groups: (1) normal pregnant women of normal body mass index (BMI) (n = 466), (2) overweight pregnant women (BMI >or=25; n = 257), and (3) non-pregnant women of normal weight (n = 40). Blood samples were collected once from each woman between 11 and 42 weeks of gestation. Plasma adiponectin multimer concentrations were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Non-parametric statistics were used for analysis. (1) The median HMW adiponectin concentration and the median HMW/total adiponectin ratio were significantly higher, and the median LMW adiponectin concentration was significantly lower in pregnant women than in non-pregnant women. (2) Among pregnant women, the median plasma concentration of total, HMW, and MMW adiponectin was significantly higher in normal weight women than in overweight patients. (3) Maternal HMW was the most prevalent adiponectin multimer regardless of gestational age or BMI status. (4) There were no significant differences in the median concentration of total, MMW, and LMW adiponectin and their relative distribution with advancing gestation. Human pregnancy is characterized by quantitative and qualitative changes in adiponectin multimers, especially the most active isoform, HMW adiponectin.