Understanding human diseases through inflammatory proteins

Inflammation is a key protective mechanism against infection, injury, and irritation. This central biological response is the result of complex interactions between various immune cell types and the release of inflammatory mediators, including cytokines, chemokines, and other important proteins.  

While inflammation plays a vital role in the body’s natural defences, it can also contribute significantly to the pathophysiology of a wide range of human diseases, especially when inflammation is sustained. Therefore, a deeper understanding of these molecules and their mechanisms has the potential to improve disease diagnosis, predict patient outcomes, and ultimately drive the development of more effective therapies. However, due to the complexity of these processes, studying inflammatory biology has traditionally posed a significant challenge.

To help you overcome the hurdles faced in your research, explore the below resource, which outlines the role of inflammation across four key disease pathologies, the potential of protein biomarkers in elucidating disease states, and how the application of multiplex protein biomarker assay technology can provide actionable insights and publication-ready results.


Inflammation of the nervous tissue is a complex response that involves the activation of glia, release of inflammatory mediators, generation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, and an increase in prostaglandin levels, and this immune disruption plays a key role in many diseases of the central nervous system (CNS).  

Neuroinflammation can be initiated by several triggers – from traumatic brain injury (TMI) and neurodegeneration to infection and aging – and is now thought to play an integral role in both classical neuroinflammatory disease, including multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease, as well as other neurological, psychiatric, and psychological disorders.

Alleviating this neuroinflammation to reduce disease severity and improve patient outcomes requires the accurate measurement and monitoring of inflammatory mediators. Find out how innovative proteomics technology has been used to reveal key inflammatory biomarkers for:

Inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of chronic, autoimmune disorders that cause inflammation of the digestive tract. The term commonly encompasses two main conditions: ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. These are complex conditions that can present a wide range of phenotypes and show major variation in severity and patient outcome.

As a result, there is an urgent need for prognostic and predictive biomarkers, which can help predict both the overall disease course and response to treatment respectively, for a specific individual. Two common markers used when investigating IBD include:

• C-reactive protein (CRP), which is found in your blood
• Fecal calprotectin (FCP), which is measured using a stool test

These existing biomarkers are relatively low-specificity, so there is still the need for high-specificity and high-sensitivity alternatives to aid the diagnosis and prognosis of IBD.

In this free on-demand webinar, Dr. Andrés Hurtado-Lorenzo, VP of Translational Research at the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation, shares the importance of high-quality protein biomarker discovery in providing deeper insights into the disease biology and actionable data for improved patient care.

Only have 5 minutes? Read the Q&A session for the highlights


In severe cases of COVID-19, there is an overactivation or mis-activation of almost every component of the human immune system. This exaggerated immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen causes systemic hyperinflammation known as cytokine release syndrome.

See how this reaction differs from a healthy immune response in this free poster.

Developing interventions to address these fatal “cytokine storms” is a formidable challenge due to the breadth and balance of immune components and inflammatory mediators involved. However, COVID-19 experts are now using the systems-level high-throughput capabilities offered by innovative proteomic technologies to elucidate valuable insights into SARS-CoV-2 biology and highlight potential targets for anti-inflammatory and other pharmacotherapeutic agents. 

In this on-demand webinar, Dr. Frank Schmidt, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at Weill Cornell Medical College, shares how his team are using advanced proteomics biomarker approaches to better understand rare human disease and COVID-19.

Dermatological diseases

In recent years, several innate, adaptive, and neurovascular immune pathways have been identified in the skin and the dysregulation of these can activate inflammatory pathways, resulting in conditions such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and rosacea. 

Many of these inflammatory skin diseases have overlapping features and the presentation can vary from patient to patient, which can make treatment difficult. In addition, current treatments address some of these inflammatory processes. However, for many patients, complete clearance of the symptoms is not currently achievable, even with combination therapy. 

The improved understanding of these pathways and their perturbation can provide invaluable insights into biomarker development for early disease prediction and targeted therapeutic intervention.

In this video, Dr. Emma Guttman-Yassky discusses how products from Olink support the exploration of inflammatory skin diseases pathogenesis and treatment response biomarkers.  

Find out more about her work at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai here

“We are now experiencing a translational revolution in inflammatory skin diseases”

Upgrade your inflammation research

Whatever disease being studied, Olink offers a comprehensive library of thoroughly validated high-quality biomarker assays for inflammation-related proteins. These panels are designed to offer scalability and flexibility to meet specific research demands, from high-throughput highplex biomarker discovery to customized lowplex protein analysis.  

Measure 43 biomarkers from just 1 μL of murine sample

Via Proximity Extension Assay (PEA) technology, the Olink® Target 48 Mouse Cytokine is designed to deliver validated protein biomarker data to boost translational research across many therapeutic areas.

This breakthrough allows repeated biomarker analysis from the same mouse, not only minimizing variability in longitudinal studies, but also promoting the ethical use of fewer animals in research.

Find out more about Olink® Target 48 Mouse Cytokine

Olink® Flex is the latest product in this portfolio, offering scientists the ability to mix and match from a library of 200 inflammatory protein assays and create 15-21 plex panels based on their protein signature of choice.

Olink® Flex is designed to empower scientists with the flexibility to analyze immune-related protein biomarkers, without compromising on data quality.

Olink® Signature Q100 is a user-friendly benchtop system for simplified protein biomarker analysis.

Discover the benefits of Olink technology in this free infographic:

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