B.R.J. Blokhuis

Utrecht University, Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands

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Publications (37)104 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: A significant proportion of the genes regulated by 17-beta-estradiol (E2) via estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) have roles in vesicle trafficking in breast cancer. Intracellular vesicle trafficking and extracellular vesicles have important roles in tumourigenesis. Here we report the discovery of giant (3-42μm) intracellular and extracellular vesicles (GVs) and the role of E2 on vesicle formation in breast cancer (BC) cell lines using three independent live cell imaging techniques. Large diameter vesicles, GVs were also identified in a patient-derived xenograft BC model, and in invasive breast carcinoma tissue. ERα-positive (MCF-7 and T47D) BC cell lines demonstrated a significant increase in GV formation after stimulation with E2 which was reversed by tamoxifen. ERα-negative (MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-468) BC cell lines produced GVs independently of E2 and tamoxifen. These results indicate the existence of both intracellular and extracellular vesicles with considerably larger dimensions than generally recognised with BC cells and suggest that the GVs are regulated by E2 via ERα in ERα-positive BC but by E2-independent mechanisms in ER-ve BC.
    Oncotarget 05/2014; 5(10):3159-67. · 6.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a multicomponent disease characterized by emphysema and/or chronic bronchitis. COPD is mostly associated with cigarette smoking. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,700 chemical compounds, including free radicals and LPS (a Toll-Like Receptor 4 agonist) at concentrations which may contribute to the pathogenesis of diseases like COPD. We have previously shown that short-term exposure to cigarette smoke medium (CSM) can stimulate several inflammatory cells via TLR4 and that CSM reduces the degranulation of bone-marrow-derived mast cells (BMMCs). In the current study, the effect of CSM on mast cells maturation and function was investigated. Coculturing of BMMC with CSM during the development of bone marrow progenitor cells suppressed the granularity and the surface expression of and Fc RI receptors. Stimulation with IgE/antigen resulted in decreased degranulation and release of Th1 and Th2 cytokines. The effects of CSM exposure could not be mimicked by the addition of LPS to the culture medium. In conclusion, this study shows that CSM may affect mast cell development and subsequent response to allergic activation in a TLR4-independent manner.
    Mediators of Inflammation 01/2013; 2013:813091. · 3.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: T-cell tolerance of allergic cutaneous contact sensitivity (CS) induced in mice by high doses of reactive hapten is mediated by suppressor cells that release antigen-specific suppressive nanovesicles. OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine the mechanism or mechanisms of immune suppression mediated by the nanovesicles. METHODS: T-cell tolerance was induced by means of intravenous injection of hapten conjugated to self-antigens of syngeneic erythrocytes and subsequent contact immunization with the same hapten. Lymph node and spleen cells from tolerized or control donors were harvested and cultured to produce a supernatant containing suppressive nanovesicles that were isolated from the tolerized mice for testing in active and adoptive cell-transfer models of CS. RESULTS: Tolerance was shown due to exosome-like nanovesicles in the supernatants of CD8(+) suppressor T cells that were not regulatory T cells. Antigen specificity of the suppressive nanovesicles was conferred by a surface coat of antibody light chains or possibly whole antibody, allowing targeted delivery of selected inhibitory microRNA (miRNA)-150 to CS effector T cells. Nanovesicles also inhibited CS in actively sensitized mice after systemic injection at the peak of the responses. The role of antibody and miRNA-150 was established by tolerizing either panimmunoglobulin-deficient JH(-/-) or miRNA-150(-/-) mice that produced nonsuppressive nanovesicles. These nanovesicles could be made suppressive by adding antigen-specific antibody light chains or miRNA-150, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first example of T-cell regulation through systemic transit of exosome-like nanovesicles delivering a chosen inhibitory miRNA to target effector T cells in an antigen-specific manner by a surface coating of antibody light chains.
    Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 01/2013; · 12.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neutrophils are key players in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and increased numbers of neutrophils are present in sputum and lung tissue of patients with COPD. Interestingly, immunoglobulin free light chains (IgLC) are able to prolong the life of neutrophils; therefore, IgLC may contribute to the chronic state of inflammation. In this study, the relation between IgLC and COPD has been investigated. We investigated the presence of IgLC in different murine lung emphysema models. IgLC levels in serum from mice and patients with COPD were examined by Western blot analysis and ELISA, respectively. IgLC levels in lung tissue were determined by immunohistochemistry. Fluorescence-activated cell sorter and immunofluorescent analysis were used to detect binding between IgLC and human neutrophils. Interleukin-8 (CXCL8) release by neutrophils after IgLC incubation was measured by ELISA. The effect of F991, an IgLC antagonist, was examined on the neutrophil influx in murine lungs after 5 days of smoke exposure. Increased levels of IgLC in serum of cigarette smoke-exposed and cigarette smoke extract-treated mice compared with control mice were observed. Patients with COPD showed increased serum IgLC and expression of IgLC in lung tissue compared with healthy volunteers. Interestingly, IgLC bound to neutrophils and activated neutrophils to release CXCL8. F991 inhibited the IgLC binding to neutrophils and reduced the smoke-induced neutrophil influx in murine lungs after smoke exposure. This study describes for the first time an association between neutrophils and IgLC in the pathophysiology of COPD, which could open new avenues to targeted treatment of this chronic disease.
    American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 01/2012; 185(8):817-24. · 11.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Beside the production of complete immunoglobulins IgG, IgE, IgA, IgM and IgD, consisting of tetrameric heterodimers of immunoglobulin heavy and light chains, B cells also secrete immunoglobulin free light chains (Ig-fLC). Previous studies showed that Ig-fLCs are able to induce immediate hypersensitivity reactions. It is apparent that recognition and binding of antigen are crucial steps in the onset of these inflammatory responses. In this study, the binding characteristics of Ig-fLC to antigen were further investigated using various biochemical approaches. In addition, we investigated whether antigen-mediated crosslinking of Ig-fLC is required to initiate allergic skin inflammation in vivo. Our study shows that binding of Ig-fLCs to antigen can be measured with different experimental setups. Surface plasmon resonance analysis showed real-time antigen binding characteristics. Specific antigen binding by Ig-fLCs was further detected using immunoblotting and ELISA. Using the ELISA-based assay, a binding affinity of 76.9±3.8 nM was determined for TNP-specific Ig-fLC. Antigen-induced ear swelling in mice passively sensitized with trinitrophenol-specific Ig-fLC was inhibited when multivalent antigen was combined with excess of monovalent antigen during challenge. We conclude that Ig-fLCs are able to interact with antigen, a prerequisite for antigen-specific cellular activation. In analogy to antigen-specific Fc receptor-induced mast cell activation, crosslinking of Ig-fLCs is necessary to initiate a local allergic response.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(7):e40986. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • European Journal of Pharmacology - EUR J PHARMACOL. 01/2011; 668.
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    ABSTRACT: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a devastating lung disorder of unknown aetiology, and chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP), a disease provoked by an immunopathologic reaction to inhaled antigens, are two common interstitial lung diseases with uncertain pathogenic mechanisms. Previously, we have shown in other upper and lower airway diseases that immunoglobulin free light chains (FLCs) are increased and may be involved in initiating a local inflammation. In this study we explored if such a mechanism may also apply to HP and IPF. In this study we examined the presence of FLC in serum and BAL fluid from 21 IPF and 22 HP patients and controls. IgG, IgE and tryptase concentrations were measured in BAL fluid only. The presence of FLCs, plasma cells, B cells and mast cells in lung tissue of 3 HP and 3 IPF patients and 1 control was analyzed using immunohistochemistry. FLC concentrations in serum and BAL fluid were increased in IPF and HP patients as compared to control subjects. IgG concentrations were only increased in HP patients, whereas IgE concentrations were comparable to controls in both patient groups. FLC-positive cells, B cells, plasma cells, and large numbers of activated mast cells were all detected in the lungs of HP and IPF patients, not in control lung. These results show that FLC concentrations are increased in serum and BAL fluid of IPF and HP patients and that FLCs are present within affected lung tissue. This suggests that FLCs may be involved in mediating pathology in both diseases.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(9):e25392. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Symptoms of allergy are largely attributed to an IgE-mediated hypersensitivity response. However, a considerable number of patients also exhibit clinical features of allergy without detectable systemic IgE. Previous work showed that Ig-free light chains (IgLC) may act as an alternate mechanism to induce allergic responses. CD4+CD25+ T cells are crucial in the initiation and regulation of allergic responses and compromised function might affect the response to allergens. To examine the contribution of CD4+CD25+ T cells and IgLC towards the whey-allergic response. Mice were sensitized orally with whey using cholera toxin as an adjuvant. CD25+ T cells were depleted in vivo using a CD25 mAb. The acute allergic skin response to whey and ex vivo colon reactivity was measured in the presence or absence of F991, a specific inhibitor of IgLC. Serum whey-specific antibodies and IgLC in serum and mesenteric lymph node (MLN) supernatants were measured. Depletion of CD4+CD25+ T cells was confirmed in the spleen. Anti-CD25 treatment strongly reduced whey-specific antibody levels and resulted in a partial depletion of effector T cells and a major depletion of Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells. Surprisingly, despite the abolished specific IgE response, the acute allergic skin response to whey was not affected. IgLC levels were enhanced in the serum and MLN supernatants of CD25-depleted sensitized mice. F991 inhibited the acute skin response and colon hyperreactivity in anti-CD25-treated mice, indicating that these responses were mainly IgLC dependent. Depletion of CD4+CD25+ T cells resulted in a switch from an IgE- to an IgLC-dependent acute skin response and functional hyperresponsiveness of the colon. Our data suggest that CD25+ T cells play a crucial role in balancing cow's milk allergy between IgE and IgE-independent responses and both mechanisms might play a role in allergic responses to the same allergen.
    Clinical & Experimental Allergy 09/2010; 40(9):1414-21. · 4.79 Impact Factor
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    The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 08/2010; · 12.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Traditionally, mast cells were regarded as key cells orchestrating type I hypersensitivity responses. However, it is now recognized that mast cells are widely involved in nonallergic (non-IgE) chronic diseases. Also, in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a disease not associated with increased IgE concentrations, clear signs of activation of mast cells have been found. In this study, we investigated if Ig-free L chain-induced hypersensitivity-like responses through activation of mast cells could contribute to the pathophysiology of IBD. As a mast cell-dependent model for IBD, mice were skin-sensitized with dinitrofluorobenzene followed by intrarectal application of the hapten. In this murine IBD model, F991 prevented mast cell activation and also abrogated the development of diarrhea, cellular infiltration, and colonic lymphoid follicle hyperplasia. Furthermore, passive immunization with Ag-specific Ig-free L chains (IgLCs) and subsequent rectal hapten challenge elicited local mast cell activation and increased vascular permeability in the colon of mice. Clinical support is provided by the observation that serum concentrations of IgLCs of patients suffering from Crohn's disease are greatly increased. Moreover, increased presence of IgLCs was evident in tissue specimens from colon and ileum tissue of patients with IBD. Our data suggest that IgLCs may play a role in the pathogenesis of IBD, which provides novel therapeutic means to prevent or ameliorate the adverse gastrointestinal manifestations of IBD.
    The Journal of Immunology 07/2010; 185(1):653-9. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cow's milk allergy (CMA) affects 2.5% of young infants. In previous murine studies it was observed that allergic sensitization to the major cow's milk allergens casein and whey led, respectively, to IgE-independent and IgE-dependent clinical responses. In this study the involvement of immunoglobulin free light chains (Ig-fLCs) in the hypersensitivity response to cow's milk proteins was explored in mice, and Ig-fLC serum levels were determined in children affected by CMA or atopic dermatitis (AD). Mice were orally sham, casein, or whey sensitized. Acute allergen-specific skin responses were determined, and serum immunoglobulin and Ig-fLC concentrations were measured. Ig-fLC dependency was validated by using the Ig-fLC blocker F991 in actively and passively sensitized mice. Ig-fLC serum concentrations were measured in a cohort of infants with CMA and infants with AD. After sensitization, no specific IgE was detectable in sera of casein-sensitized mice, whereas specific IgE levels were enhanced in whey-sensitized mice. Instead, Ig-fLC levels were increased in sera from casein-sensitized mice. Furthermore, blocking Ig-fLCs strongly diminished the allergic skin responses not only in casein-sensitized mice but also in mice transferred with splenocyte supernatants of casein-sensitized mice. In both patients with CMA and patients with AD, serum Ig-fLC concentrations were significantly enhanced. This study indicates that sensitization with cow's milk proteins can lead to both IgE-dependent and Ig-fLC-dependent allergic hypersensitivity responses. Also, in children affected with CMA or AD, serum Ig-fLC concentrations were increased, implying the relevance of Ig-fLC measurements in the diagnoses of human allergic disease.
    The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 06/2010; 125(6):1308-14. · 12.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Allergic rhinitis is characterized by mast cell degranulation induced by antigen cross-linking of IgE. It has been proposed that some patients with rhinitis show nasal allergy in the absence of systemic markers of atopy, termed entopy. Recent murine studies suggest the existence of an IgE-independent hypersensitivity response involving antigen-induced mast cell activation, mediated by immunoglobulin free light chains (FLCs). To determine whether FLC is associated with mast cell-mediated nasal hypersensitivity and its relationship with eosinophilic activity in allergic and nonatopic rhinitis. Patients with allergy and nonallergic rhinitis with eosinophilia syndrome (NARES) had levels of soluble FLC measured in nasal secretions and serum. In addition, levels of the nasal inflammatory mediators mast cell tryptase and eosinophil cationic protein were quantified. Cellular expression of kappa and lambda FLC was characterized in the nasal mucosa of allergic and nonatopic idiopathic rhinitis and control subjects by using immunohistochemistry. Immunopositive cells were phenotyped by using laser microdissection and PCR. Free light chain was significantly increased in nasal secretions of subjects with allergy and NARES, and in serum of patients with NARES. Nonatopic patients with allergy showed significantly increased nasal mast cell tryptase and eosinophil cationic protein. FLC-positive cells were significantly increased in allergic and nonatopic mucosa, and were shown to be mast cells and plasma cells. Nasal FLC is significantly increased in allergic and nonatopic rhinitis nasal mucosa, suggesting a role in nasal hypersensitivity. Further studies are needed to identify which allergens trigger FLC-mediated responses in nonatopic rhinitis.
    The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 10/2009; 125(1):139-45.e1-3. · 12.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Immunoglobulin-free light chains (IgLC) secreted by B lymphocytes, have been shown to mediate hypersensitivity by inducing antigen-specific mast cell activation. Although both mast cells and sensory neurons contribute to the hypersensitivity response, the role of IgLC in relation to sensory neurons is unknown. We therefore aimed to investigate the effects of IgLC on cultures of murine dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that IgLC and IgE could specifically bind to DRG neurons, on which the presence of FcepsilonRI, the specific receptor for IgE, was demonstrated by western blotting. Further, optical recordings with Fluo-4 showed that application of the corresponding antigen to IgLC- or IgE-sensitized DRG neurons induces a sustained increase in intracellular Ca(2+) in about half of these neurons. These results show that IgLC and IgE can mediate antigen-specific responses in murine neurons. Our findings present a novel way of antigen-specific neuronal activation.
    Journal of neuroimmunology 03/2009; 208(1-2):80-6. · 2.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Allergic diseases have become a serious global health problem in the developed world. IgE interacting with its high-affinitiy receptor FcepsilonRI is considered a major contributing factor to most types of allergies, but depending on the type of allergy, however, a subgroup of patients displays common symptoms and yet lack elevated levels of total serum IgE and/or antigen-specific IgE. Novel therapeutic strategies such as anti-IgE therapy may therefore not be applicable to these patients. It is clear, however, that these patients do display activation of mast cells. In several patients suffering from immunological disorders, an increase in free immunoglobulin (IG) light chain levels can be detected. Previously, we have described the capability of free light chains to elicit immediate hypersensitivity responses. In this Opinion article, we will discuss the role of IgE- and non-IgE-mediated mechanisms in allergic disorders and point out a possible role of free IG light chains in the pathogenesis of the non-atopic types of these allergies.
    Clinical & Experimental Allergy 12/2008; 39(1):33-42. · 4.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In recent years, novel therapeutic strategies have become available for the treatment of chronic inflammatory disease. Neutralizing proinflammatory mediators such as leukotrienes and TNF-alpha, in addition to anti-IgE therapies (Omaluzimab) that target higher in the inflammatory cascade, have shown success in the treatment of allergic or autoimmune disorders. Free immunoglobulin light chains, which are produced by B lymphocytes and secreted into serum, might play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory disease. Concentrations of free light chains are significantly increased under diverse pathological conditions in humans, and have been linked to the progression and severity of immune diseases. Here we discuss the importance of free immunoglobulin light chains as a potential therapeutic target in the treatment of chronic inflammatory disease.
    Trends in Pharmacological Sciences 05/2008; 29(4):170-4. · 9.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: RationaleWe have recently shown that immunoglobulin free light chains (IgLC) can elicit immediate hypersensitivity-like responses (Nature Medicine 8, 694, 2002). In this study, we investigated if cutaneous anaphylaxis to a major house dust mite (HDM) antigen could be induced by IgLC.Methods Mice were intradermally sensitized with two Der p 2-specific IgLC to different epitopes. At twenty hours mice received an intravenous challenge with HDM extract or recDer p 2 and changes in ear thickness were monitored. To investigate if anaphylaxis could be inhibited by a specific IgLC antagonist, F991, mice were injected i.p. with 50 microgram F991 at the time of sensitization.ResultsIntracutaneous injection of 2C5 and A4 followed by intravenous challenge with recDer p or HDM extract resulted in a rapid development of ear swelling reaching a maximum at 10 to 30 min after challenge. At 60 min post challenge, the ear thickness returned to basal levels. The PCA induced by crosslinking of Der p 2-specific Ig light chains could be completely prevented by F991.Conclusions The role of IgE in atopic dermatitis (AD) induced by aeroallergens remains controversial. Total or Ag-specific IgE does not always correlate with clinical symptoms. In several studies a discordance between the results from the atopy patch test or skin prick test and the levels of IgE specific for HDM were reported. We show that Der p 2-specific IgLC can elicit an IgE/IgG1-independent cutaneous anaphylaxis. Our study suggests that induction of immediate hypersensitivity-like responses via IgLC might be responsible for positive skin reactions in non-atopic or intrinsic AD.
    Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 01/2004; 113(2).
  • M. Thio, B.R.J. Blokhuis, F.P. Nijkamp, F.A.M. Redegeld

Publication Stats

138 Citations
104.00 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2008–2014
    • Utrecht University
      • • Division of Pharmacology
      • • Faculty of Science
      Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 2009–2010
    • University of Nottingham
      • School of Molecular Medical Sciences
      Nottingham, ENG, United Kingdom