The term ‘proteome’ refers to all the proteins that are produced or modified by the body. Purina scientists study the structure and functions of proteins to find opportunities to improve health through nutrition. One area of study includes the immune system proteins.
Cytokines are small proteins that help balance the immune system and mediate inflammation. Inflammatory cytokines are elevated in obesity and other diseases, such as diabetes. Chronic inflammation can compromise immunity.
Today, sophisticated instruments can identify hundreds of proteins at once. In the future, scientists will create catalogues of protein biomarkers to track how nutritional interventions can defeat disease and make our pets even healthier.
Purina developed the first cytokine panels for pets.
Rather than measure one molecule at a time, these panels simultaneously assay more than 20 cytokines and hormones to provide insights into systemic responses. This commercially available tool enhanced research opportunities for the wider scientific community.
Purina scientists used the cytokine panel to document increased inflammatory cytokines in obese dogs.
In another study, following weight loss, levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines decreased. These results highlight the benefits to be gained by preventing or treating obesity.1,2
1. Bastien, B. C., Patil, A., & Satyaraj, E. (2015). The impact of weight loss on circulating cytokines in Beagle dogs. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology, 163, 174–182.
2. Eirmann, L. A., Freeman, L. M., Laflamme, D. P., Michel, K. E., & Satyaraj, E. (2009). Comparison of adipokine concentrations and markers of inflammation in obese versus lean dogs. The International Journal of Applied Research in Veterinary Medicine, 4, 196–205.