Gene expression profiling in peripheral white blood cells in response to the intake of food with different glycemic index using a DNA microarray

J Nutrigenet Nutrigenomics. 2013;6(3):154-68. doi: 10.1159/000354247. Epub 2013 Aug 31.


Background/aims: Transcriptomics technology in human nutrition intervention studies would allow for genome-wide screening of the effects of nutrients. We observed the time course of gene expression changes in peripheral white blood cells (WBC) to elucidate the metabolic changes in the postprandial state that are a reflection and a marker of whole body metabolic changes.

Methods: In a randomized crossover study, 7 healthy subjects consumed test meals of glucose (GL), white rice (WR) and rolled barley (BAR), each containing 75 g of available carbohydrate, and water (WAT). Blood glucose, insulin and nonesterified fatty acid concentrations, as well as the subjective levels of fullness and hunger were measured. Microarray analysis of the WBC and the real-time PCR were examined during 360 min after the intake of the test meals.

Results: The number of genes that changed more than 1.5-fold and the expression patterns in the time course were different between the GL, the WR and the BAR groups. Several genes involved in glycolysis and fatty acid β-oxidation were markedly changed after the intake of the GL, the WR and the BAR; however, these genes did not change at any time point in the WAT.

Conclusions: Gene expression profiling in the WBC can reflect food-related metabolic changes, even in the postprandial state.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Glycemic Index*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Leukocytes / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis*
  • Transcriptome


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin