The Immune System’s Defense System—Inflammatory Response
Inflammation is part of the body’s defense mechanism against pathogens and infections. A wide range of factors can cause inflammation, including injuries like scrapes, insect stings, radiation, and environmental chemicals.
Despite being beneficial, when inflammation happens inside healthy tissues or is chronic, damage occurs. Inflammation can cause several diseases; medical research shows that chronic inflammation is a causative agent of more than half of the world’s deaths.1 Diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are thought to be associated with inflammation. Cardiovascular diseases alone caused 697,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2020.2
Traditional Technologies Are Not Accurate
When inflammation happens in the body, certain substances are often released from the inflammation site and circulate in the bloodstream, thereby becoming biomarkers of the condition. Medical professionals can use blood tests to detect these inflammatory markers, also known as acute phase reactants, to detect inflammation. The most common inflammatory markers are C-reactive protein (CRP), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and procalcitonin (PCT).3
However, these types of inflammatory markers can sometimes produce false alarms. This is because they are not very sensitive to detect serious underlying conditions, producing 85% false positive rate and 50% false negative rate.4 Research from the University of Bristol and the University of Exeter suggest that general practitioners should not use inflammatory markers to rule out diseases or for medical diagnosis.
Video: Study Design
Precision Diagnosis of Inflammation
In order to improve the diagnosis of inflammation and its associated diseases, more accurate detection and analysis methods are required as early as possible. To make this happen, metabolomics—the profiling of metabolites in biological samples—offers a more novel approach for biomarker discovery in complex situations and may provide a pathological understanding of diseases beyond traditional technologies.
With the help of our proprietary platform—the Metabolon Discovery: Global Panel—it is possible to separate, find, characterize, and quantify these metabolites and associated metabolic pathways from biological samples like human plasma. The most comprehensive coverage and capability to identify potential biomarkers in your data is provided by our industry-leading library of over 5400 metabolites.
Video: Our Platform
Trust Metabolon’s Expertise
With our team of expert systems biologists and our 20+ years of experience and institutional knowledge, we are better able to collaborate with you to design a biomarker-focused study that expedites discovery, avoids obstacles, and offers the necessary actionable data for advancing your research.
Sit back and relax while our dedicated team of experts guides you through every step from study design to sample collection, visualization to biological interpretation. With over 10,000 successful projects in our portfolio, plus more in the pipeline, you can rest assured your research will be properly designed and powered to achieve your intended objectives.
Video: Data Interpretation
See how Metabolon can advance your path to preclinical and clinical insights
Free Fatty Acids Targeted Panel
Fatty acids play many physiologically important roles in an organism. They are not only key metabolites of energy storage and production but also the basic building blocks of complex lipids that form cellular membranes. A variety of bioactive forms of fatty acid metabolites, known as lipid mediators, act as local hormones and are involved in many physiological systems and pathological processes. Free fatty acids (FFA, non-esterified fatty acids, NEFA) are the nonbound fraction of the total fatty acid pool. The determination of FFAs in plasma (or serum) is of clinical relevance as the association between FFAs and many diseases is well-known (e. g. insulin resistance/type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease).
Metal Analysis Targeted Panel
Metabolon’s ICP-MS-based Metal Ions Panel provides precise measurements of biologically important metal ions in biological samples. In addition to the well-established problems of toxicity associated with several metals, the vital role these ions play in a variety of biological pathways whether by catalyzing enzymatic reactions or stabilizing protein structures is still becoming clear. Intimately intertwined with the proteome and metabolome, metal ions represent an intrinsic piece vital to the holistic understanding of biological phenomena ranging from development through normal functioning to disease. Without an understanding of the role of these metals, a complete understanding of biological processes is not possible. Metabolon’s Metal Ions Panel measures a variety of metals ions ranging from the macro level (ppm) including Na, K and Ca to the micro level (ppb) including Mo, Cu and Ni.
Tryptophan/Kynurenine Ratio Targeted Panel
The kynurenine pathway is a metabolic pathway
leading to the production of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) from the enzymatic conversion of tryptophan. Immune activation leads to the formation of kynurenine with corresponding loss of tryptophan.
The kynurenine/tryptophan ratio has been used to reflect the activity of the tryptophan-degrading enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) in cellular inflammatory response related to symptoms of depression, schizophrenia, and other
Metabolon in Action
A leading research-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative medicines discovers less invasive diagnostic tools for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
A clinical stage biotech company leverages microbiome-based medicines to treat chronic inflammatory diseases. Focusing on early life, when the developing microbiome has the largest impact on the immune system, metabolomics is leveraged throughout various stages of therapeutic development.
Untargeted metabolomics identifies metabolomic shifts and potential biomarkers. Then, targeted assays are used to validate biomarkers and identify potential mechanistic links between early life microbiome disruptions and disease development later in life.
Interested in Further Studies?
Once you see the full value of metabolomics, the only remaining question is who does it best? While many laboratories have metabolite profiling or analytical chemistry capabilities, comprehensive metabolomics technologies are extremely rare. Accurate, unbiased metabolite identification across the entire metabolome introduces signal-to-noise challenges that very few labs are equipped to handle. Also, translating massive quantities of data into actionable information is slow, if not impossible, for most because proper interpretation takes two things that are in short supply: experience and a comprehensive database.
Only Metabolon has all four core metabolomics capabilities
Ability to interrogate thousands of metabolites across diverse biochemical space, revealing new insights and opportunities
Ability to integrate the data from different studies into the same dataset, in different geographies, among different patients over time
Ability to inform on proper study design, generate high‐quality data, derive biological insights, and make actionable recommendations
Ability to process hundreds of thousands of samples quickly and cost‐efficiently to service rapidly growing demand
Partner with Metabolon to access:
A library of 5400+ known metabolites, 2000 in human plasma, all referenced in the context of biochemical pathways
- That’s 5x the metabolites of the closest competitor
Unparalleled depth and breadth of experience analyzing and interpreting metabolomic data to find meaningful results
- 10,000+ projects with hundreds of clients
- 2,000+ publications covering 500 diseases, including numerous peer-reviewed journals such as Cell, Nature and Science
- Nearly 40 PhDs in data science, molecular biology, and biochemistry
Using our robust platform and visualization tools, our experts are uniquely able to tell you more about your molecule and develop assay panels to help you zero in on the results you need.
Related Metabolomics Resources
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1. Furman D, Campisi J, Verdin E, Carrera-Bastos P, Targ S, Franceschi C, et al. Chronic inflammation in the etiology of disease across the lifespan. Available at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31806905/ Accessed 08-22-2022
2. Heart Disease Statistics and Maps. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Available at https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm Accessed 08-22-2022 Accessed 08-22-2022
3. Inflammatory markers. ARUP Consult. Available at https://arupconsult.com/content/inflammatory-markers Accessed 08-23-2022
4. Inflammatory marker tests fail to rule out serious conditions, study finds. Medical Device Network. Available at https://www.medicaldevice-network.com/news/inflammatory-marker-tests-diagnosis-fail/ Accessed 08-23-2022