Open Access Research article

Insight in modulation of inflammation in response to diclofenac intervention: a human intervention study

Marjan J van Erk1*, Suzan Wopereis1, Carina Rubingh1, Trinette van Vliet12, Elwin Verheij1, Nicole HP Cnubben1, Theresa L Pedersen3, John W Newman34, Age K Smilde15, Jan van der Greef1, Henk FJ Hendriks1 and Ben van Ommen1

Author Affiliations

1 TNO Quality of Life, PO Box 360, 3700 AJ Zeist, the Netherlands

2 Current address: CCMO, The Hague, the Netherlands

3 USDA, ARS, Western Human Nutrition Research Center, 430 West Health Sciences Dr, Davis, CA 95616, California, USA

4 Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis, California, USA

5 Current address: Biosystems Data Analysis, Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018 WV Amsterdam, the Netherlands

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BMC Medical Genomics 2010, 3:5  doi:10.1186/1755-8794-3-5

Published: 23 February 2010



Chronic systemic low-grade inflammation in obese subjects is associated with health complications including cardiovascular diseases, insulin resistance and diabetes. Reducing inflammatory responses may reduce these risks. However, available markers of inflammatory status inadequately describe the complexity of metabolic responses to mild anti-inflammatory therapy.


To address this limitation, we used an integrative omics approach to characterize modulation of inflammation in overweight men during an intervention with the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac. Measured parameters included 80 plasma proteins, >300 plasma metabolites (lipids, free fatty acids, oxylipids and polar compounds) and an array of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) gene expression products. These measures were submitted to multivariate and correlation analysis and were used for construction of biological response networks.


A panel of genes, proteins and metabolites, including PGE2 and TNF-alpha, were identified that describe a diclofenac-response network (68 genes in PBMC, 1 plasma protein and 4 plasma metabolites). Novel candidate markers of inflammatory modulation included PBMC expression of annexin A1 and caspase 8, and the arachidonic acid metabolite 5,6-DHET.


In this study the integrated analysis of a wide range of parameters allowed the development of a network of markers responding to inflammatory modulation, thereby providing insight into the complex process of inflammation and ways to assess changes in inflammatory status associated with obesity.

Trial registration

The study is registered as NCT00221052 in database.