Diurnal rhythms of serum and plasma cytokine profiles in healthy elderly individuals assessed using membrane based multiplexed immunoassay

J Transl Med. 2015 Apr 24:13:129. doi: 10.1186/s12967-015-0477-1.


Background: Recent clinical studies suggest that inflammatory mediators have huge potential in individualized therapy and in efficacy screening and can be utilized as biomarkers for a plethora of pathological conditions. The standard approach for detecting and measuring these inflammatory mediators is via blood samples. Nevertheless, there is no scientific report providing solid evidence on the most suitable blood compartment that will give the optimal inflammatory mediator measurement, or regarding the diurnal variation of circulating mediators. In this study, we present the biological variability of circulating cytokines and chemokines from healthy individuals (mean age 59 years) assessed by a novel membrane-based assay.

Methods: Fifteen males and an equal number of females (all above 50 years) with no known inflammatory condition were selected. Through a planar method, named Proteome Profiler™, improved with fluorescence readout into a semi-quantitative multiplex assay, a screening of 36 inflammatory mediators was performed in serum and plasma of morning and afternoon blood withdrawals.

Results: The multiplex analysis revealed that the physiological variability of several circulating inflammatory mediators was relatively small within a cohort of 30 healthy aging subjects. There was no substantial gender effect in the inflammatory mediator profile. On the contrary, most of the cytokine/chemokine values measured in the afternoon collection were found to be higher compared to the morning ones, particularly in plasma.

Conclusions: In this study we provide evidence that circulating cytokine and chemokine levels of healthy individuals are elevated when blood is sampled in the afternoon compared to the morning, as influenced by the circulating cortisol levels. Furthermore, we report significant differences between cytokine/chemokine levels measured in serum and plasma. Our results provide essential information for future studies that will focus on examining circulating inflammatory mediator differences between healthy and diseased individuals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Cytokines