The present study analyses the gene expression profile of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from obese boys. The aims of the present study were to identify baseline differences between low responders (LR) and high responders (HR) after 10 weeks of a moderate energy-restricted dietary intervention, and to compare the gene expression profile between the baseline and the endpoint of the nutritional intervention. Spanish obese boys (age 10-14 years) were advised to follow a 10-week moderate energy-restricted diet. Participants were classified into two groups based on the association between the response to the nutritional intervention and the changes in BMI standard deviation score (BMI-SDS): HR group (n 6), who had a more decreased BMI-SDS; LR group (n 6), who either maintained or had an even increased BMI-SDS. The expression of 28 869 genes was analysed in PBMC from both groups at baseline and after the nutritional intervention, using the Affymetrix Human Gene 1.1 ST 24-Array plate microarray. At baseline, the HR group showed a lower expression of inflammation and immune response-related pathways, which suggests that the LR group could have a more developed pro-inflammatory phenotype. Concomitantly, LEPR and SIRPB1 genes were highly expressed in the LR group, indicating a tendency towards an impaired immune response and leptin resistance. Moreover, the moderate energy-restricted diet was able to down-regulate the inflammatory 'mitogen-activated protein kinase signalling pathway' in the HR group, as well as some inflammatory genes (AREG and TNFAIP3). The present study confirms that changes in the gene expression profile of PBMC in obese boys may help to understand the weight-loss response. However, further research is required to confirm these findings.