BACKGROUND: The aims of this study were to compare adipokine concentrations of pregnant women in the 24th~28th weeks of gestation to those of non-pregnant women. We compared the concentrations of adipokines in women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), gestational impaired glucose tolerance (GIGT) and normal glucose tolerance (NGT). We also investigated the role of adipokines in the development of gestational glucose intolerance. METHODS: We surveyed 129 pregnant women who underwent a 100 g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) during the 24th~28th weeks of gestation. Participants were classified into three groups: (1) NGT (n = 40), (2) GIGT (n = 45), and (3) GDM (n = 44). Pregnant subjects with NGT were matched to non-pregnant controls for BMI and age (n = 41). RESULTS: Pregnant women with NGT exhibited significantly decreased adiponectin levels and elevated leptin levels compared to non-pregnant controls. Mean plasma resistin levels were significantly higher in women with GDM and GIGT than in women with NGT. Resistin and fasting glucose were significant predictors for the development of gestational glucose intolerance. CONCLUSION: Plasma adiponectin levels were decreased and leptin levels were increased in pregnant subjects with NGT compared to BMI and age matched non-pregnant controls. Women with GDM and GIGT exhibit significantly elevated concentrations of resistin compared with women with NGT. Increased resistin levels were also associated with the development of gestational glucose intolerance. Resistin may play an important role on the development of gestational glucose intolerance in Korean women.