Peripheral blood mononuclear cells as a potential source of biomarkers to test the efficacy of weight-loss strategies

Bàrbara Reynés, Rubén Díaz-Rúa, Margalida Cifre, Paula Oliver*, Andreu Palou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Objectives Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) constitute an easily obtainable blood cell fraction useful in nutrition and obesity studies. Our aim was to study the potential use of PBMC to reflect metabolic recovery associated with weight loss in rats. Methods By real-time PCR, the fasting response of key energy homeostatic genes in PBMC samples of control and cafeteria-obese rats and of rats fed a control diet after the intake of a cafeteria diet (post-cafeteria model) was analyzed. Results Fasting caused decreased mRNA expression of lipogenic (Fasn and Srebp1a) and adipogenic (Pparγ) genes in PBMC, whereas it increased the expression of the key beta-oxidation gene Cpt1a and the orexigenic gene Npy. Fasting response of the genes studied was impaired in cafeteria-obese animals but was recovered in post-cafeteria rats, which showed a significant body weight decrease and normalization of adipose and metabolic parameters. Npy expression analyzed in PBMC has been revealed to be especially useful as a marker of fasting sensitivity, as its fasting response is not affected by the age of the animals and it is recovered even after shorter time of exposure to a balanced diet. Conclusions PBMC reflect homeostatic balance recovery associated with weight loss in obese animals, when reverting from a hyperlipidic to a control balanced diet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-31
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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