Johan Kuiper

Curium-LUMC, Leyden, South Holland, Netherlands

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Publications (136)

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a multifactorial autoimmune disease, which is characterized by inflammation of synovial joints leading to the destruction of cartilage and bone. Infiltrating mast cells can be found within the inflamed synovial tissue, however their role in disease pathogenesis is unclear. Therefore we have studied the role of mast cells during different phases of experimental arthritis. Methods We induced collagen-induced arthritis (CIA), the most frequently used animal model of arthritis, in an inducible mast cell knock-out mouse and determined the effect of mast cell depletion on the development and severity of arthritis. Results Depletion of mast cells in established arthritis did not affect clinical outcome. However, depletion of mast cells during the preclinical phase resulted in a significant reduction in arthritis. This reduction coincided with a decrease in circulating CD4+ T cells and inflammatory monocytes but not in the collagen-specific antibody levels. Mast cell depletion resulted in reduced levels of IL-6 and IL-17 in serum. Furthermore, stimulation of splenocytes from mast cell-depleted mice with collagen type II resulted in reduced levels of IL-17 and enhanced production of IL-10. Conclusions Here we show that mast cells contribute to the preclinical phase of CIA. Depletion of mast cells before disease onset resulted in an altered collagen-specific T cell and cytokine response. These data may suggest that mast cells play a role in the regulation of the adaptive immune response during the development of arthritis. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13075-016-1036-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
    Article · Dec 2016 · Arthritis research & therapy
  • Ilze Bot · Johan Kuiper
    Article · Jul 2016 · Atherosclerosis
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We explored the role of ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (Abca1), in post-myocardial infarction (MI) cardiac injury. In _Abca1_–/– mice, wild type (WT) mice, and WT mice transplanted with _Abca1__–/–_ or WT bone marrow, an MI was induced _in vivo_. Furthermore, an _ex vivo_ MI was induced in isolated _Abca1__–/–_ and WT hearts. Twenty-four hours and two weeks after _in vivo_ MI induction, MI size was reduced in _Abca1__–/–_ (−58%, _p_ = 0.007; −59%, _p_ = 0.03) compared to WT. _Ex vivo_ MI induction showed no effect of _Abca1__–/–_ on infarct size. Interestingly, two weeks after MI, _Abca1__–/–_ mice showed higher circulating levels of B-cells (+3.0 fold, _p_ = 0.02) and T-cells (+4.2 fold, _p_ = 0.002) compared to WT. Bone marrow-specific _Abca1__–/–_ tended to reduce infarct size (−43%, _p_ = 0.12), suggesting a detrimental role for hematopoietic Abca1 after MI. Although Abca1 has a protective role in atherosclerosis, it exerts detrimental effects on cardiac function after MI.
    Full-text available · Article · Jun 2016 · Atherosclerosis
  • Ilze Bot · Johan Kuiper
    Article · Jun 2016 · Atherosclerosis
  • Amanda C. Foks · Gijs H.M. van Puijvelde · Jolien Wolbert · [...] · Johan Kuiper
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aims Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) form a heterogeneous population of cells composed of early myeloid progenitor cells and immature myeloid cells, which strongly suppress pro-inflammatory immune cells in inflammatory diseases. Currently, it is unknown whether MDSCs contribute to atherosclerosis, a chronic inflammatory disease in which accumulation of lipoproteins in the arterial wall activates the immune system causing abnormal vascular remodelling and vessel occlusion. Here, we investigated whether and how MDSCs contribute to the development of atherosclerosis. Methods and Results We show that MDSCs arise in the bone marrow of LDLr−/- mice during atherosclerosis and strongly suppress proliferation of T cells. Adoptive transfer of MDSCs into both female and male LDLr−/- mice fed a Western-type diet ameliorates atherosclerosis with 35%. We observed a 54% reduction in adventitial T cells and more specifically, MDSCs suppress Th1 and Th17 cells. In addition, treatment with MDSCs reduces circulating pro-atherogenic B2 cells. We found two subsets of MDSCs in the bone marrow of hypercholesterolemic mice, monocytic-MDSCs and granulocytic-MDSCs, of which the percentage of monocytic-MDSCs significantly increased during Western-type diet feeding. Moreover, monocytic-MDSCs completely abolished splenocyte proliferation, whereas granulocytic-MDSCs were unable to suppress proliferation. Mechanistically, we show that MDSCs from atherosclerotic mice suppress T cells in an IFN-γ and NO-dependent manner, which is associated with the action of monocytic-MDSCs. Conclusion This study demonstrates that MDSCs develop during atherosclerosis and reduce atherosclerosis via suppression of pro-inflammatory immune responses.
    Article · May 2016 · Cardiovascular Research
  • Naomi Benne · Janine van Duijn · Johan Kuiper · [...] · Bram Slütter
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Particulate carrier systems are promising drug delivery vehicles for subunit vaccination as they can enhance and direct the type of T cell response. In order to develop vaccines with optimal immunogenicity, a thorough understanding of parameters that could affect the strength and quality of immune responses is required. Pathogens have different dimensions and stimulate the immune system in a specific way. It is therefore not surprising that physicochemical characteristics of particulate vaccines, such as particle size, shape, and rigidity, affect multiple processes that impact their immunogenicity. Among these processes are the uptake of the particles from the site of administration, passage through lymphoid tissue and the uptake, antigen processing and activation of antigen-presenting cells. Herein, we systematically review the role of the size, shape and rigidity of particulate vaccines in enhancing and skewing T cell response and attempted to provide a “roadmap” for rational vaccine design.
    Article · May 2016 · Journal of Controlled Release
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Venous grafts are often used to bypass occlusive atherosclerotic lesions; however, poor patency leads to vein graft disease. Deficiency of TLR4, an inflammatory regulator, reduces vein graft disease. Here, we investigate the effects of the accessory molecule and TLR4 analogue RadioProtective 105 (RP105) on vein graft disease. RP105 deficiency resulted in a 90% increase in vein graft lesion area compared to controls. In a hypercholesterolemic setting (LDLr−/−/RP105−/− versus LDLr−/− mice), which is of importance as vein graft disease is usually characterized by excessive atherosclerosis, total lesion area was not affected. However we did observe an increased number of unstable lesions and intraplaque hemorrhage upon RP105 deficiency. In both setups, lesional macrophage content, and lesional CCL2 was increased. In vitro, RP105−/− smooth muscle cells and mast cells secreted higher levels of CCL2. In conclusion, aggravated vein graft disease caused by RP105 deficiency results from an increased local inflammatory response.
    Full-text available · Article · Apr 2016 · Scientific Reports
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    File available · Dataset · Apr 2016
  • Article · Apr 2016 · Journal of the American College of Cardiology
  • Frank Schaftenaar · Vanessa Frodermann · Johan Kuiper · Esther Lutgens
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose of review: Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality worldwide. The underlying cause of the majority of cardiovascular disease is atherosclerosis. In the past, atherosclerosis was considered to be the result of passive lipid accumulation in the vessel wall. However, today's picture of the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis is much more complex, with a key role for immune cells and inflammation in conjunction with hyperlipidemia, especially elevated (modified) LDL levels. Knowledge on immune cells and immune responses in atherosclerosis has progressed tremendously over the past decades, and the same is true for the role of lipid metabolism and the different lipid components. However, it is largely unknown how lipids and the immune system interact. In this review, we will describe the effect of lipids on immune cell development and function, and the effects of immune cells on lipid metabolism. Recent findings: Recently, novel data have emerged that show that immune cells are affected, and behave differently in a hyperlipidemic environment. Moreover, immune cells have reported to be able to affect lipid metabolism. Summary: In this review, we will summarize the latest findings on the interactions between lipids and the immune system, and we will discuss the potential consequences of these novel insights for future therapies for atherosclerosis.
    Article · Mar 2016 · Current opinion in lipidology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives: Unstable atherosclerotic lesions in carotid arteries require surgical endarterectomy to reduce the risk of ischemic stroke. We aimed to identify microRNAs that exert a broad effect on atherosclerotic plaque formation and stability in the carotid artery. Background: We made a selection of 164 genes involved in atherosclerosis. Using, we determined which microRNAs potentially regulate expression of these genes. We identified multiple microRNAs from the 14q32 microRNA cluster, which is highly involved in vascular remodeling. In human plaques, collected during carotid endarterectomy surgery, we found that 14q32 microRNA (miR-494) was abundantly expressed in unstable lesions. Methods: We induced atherosclerotic plaque formation in hypercholesterolemic ApoE mice by placing semiconstrictive collars around both carotid arteries. We injected "Gene Silencing Oligonucleotides" against miR-494 (GSO-494) or negative control (GSO-control). Using fluorescently labeled GSOs, we confirmed uptake of GSOs in affected areas of the carotids, but not elsewhere in the vasculature. Results: After injection of GSO-494, we observed significant downregulation of miR-494 expression in the carotid arteries, although miR-494 target genes were upregulated. Further analyses revealed a 65% decrease in plaque size after GSO-494 treatment. Plaque stability was increased in GSO-494-treated mice, determined by an 80% decrease in necrotic core size and a 50% increase in plaque collagen content. Inhibition of miR-494 also resulted in decreased cholesterol levels and decreased very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) fractions. Conclusions: Treatment with GSO-494 results in smaller atherosclerotic lesions with increased plaque stability. Inhibition of miR-494 may decrease the risk of surgical complications or even avert endarterectomy surgery in some cases.
    Article · Nov 2015 · Annals of Surgery
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    Vanessa Frodermann · Janine van Duijn · Melissa van Pel · [...] · Saskia C. A. de Jager
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have regenerative properties, but recently they were also found to have immunomodulatory capacities. We therefore investigated whether MSCs could reduce atherosclerosis, which is determined by dyslipidaemia and chronic inflammation. We adoptively transferred MSCs into low-density lipoprotein-receptor knockout mice and put these on a Western-type diet to induce atherosclerosis. Initially after treatment, we found higher levels of circulating regulatory T cells. In the long-term, overall numbers of effector T cells were reduced by MSC treatment. Moreover, MSC-treated mice displayed a significant 33% reduction in circulating monocytes and a 77% reduction of serum CCL2 levels. Most strikingly, we found a previously unappreciated effect on lipid metabolism. Serum cholesterol was reduced by 33%, due to reduced very low-density lipoprotein levels, likely a result of reduced de novo hepatic lipogenesis as determined by a reduced expression of Stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 and lipoprotein lipase. MSCs significantly affected lesion development, which was reduced by 33% in the aortic root. These lesions contained 56% less macrophages and showed a 61% reduction in T cell numbers. We show here for the first time that MSC treatment affects not only inflammatory responses but also significantly reduces dyslipidaemia in mice. This makes MSCs a potent candidate for atherosclerosis therapies.
    Full-text available · Article · Oct 2015 · Scientific Reports
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activated mast cells have been identified in the intima and perivascular tissue of human atherosclerotic plaques. As mast cells have been described to release a number of chemokines that mediate leukocyte fluxes, we propose that activated mast cells may play a pivotal role in leukocyte recruitment during atherosclerotic plaque progression. Systemic IgE-mediated mast cell activation in apoE(-/-)μMT mice resulted in an increase in atherosclerotic lesion size as compared to control mice, and interestingly, the number of neutrophils was highly increased in these lesions. In addition, peritoneal mast cell activation led to a massive neutrophil influx into the peritoneal cavity in C57Bl6 mice, whereas neutrophil numbers in mast cell deficient Kit(W(-sh)/W(-sh)) mice were not affected. Within the newly recruited neutrophil population, increased levels of CXCR2(+) and CXCR4(+) neutrophils were observed after mast cell activation. Indeed, mast cells were seen to contain and release CXCL1 and CXCL12, the ligands for CXCR2 and CXCR4. Intriguingly, peritoneal mast cell activation in combination with anti-CXCR2 receptor antagonist resulted in decreased neutrophil recruitment, thus establishing a prominent role for the CXCL1/CXCR2 axis in mast cell-mediated neutrophil recruitment. Our data suggest that chemokines, and in particular CXCL1, released from activated mast cells induce neutrophil recruitment to the site of inflammation, thereby aggravating the ongoing inflammatory response and thus affecting plaque progression and destabilization. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Full-text available · Article · Aug 2015 · Atherosclerosis
  • H Maxime Lagraauw · Johan Kuiper · Ilze Bot
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains a leading cause of death worldwide and identification and therapeutic modulation of all its risk factors is necessary to ensure a lower burden on the patient and on society. The physiological response to acute and chronic stress exposure has long been recognized as a potent modulator of immune, endocrine and metabolic pathways, however its direct implications for cardiovascular disease development, progression and as a therapeutic target are not completely understood. More and more attention is given to the bidirectional interaction between psychological and physical health in relation to cardiovascular disease. With atherosclerosis being a chronic disease starting already at an early age the contribution of adverse early life events in affecting adult health risk behavior, health status and disease development is receiving increased attention. In addition, experimental research into the biological pathways involved in stress-induced cardiovascular complications show important roles for metabolic and immunologic maladaptation, resulting in increased disease development and progression. Here we provide a concise overview of human and experimental animal data linking chronic and acute stress to CVD risk and increased progression of the underlying disease atherosclerosis. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Article · Aug 2015 · Brain Behavior and Immunity
  • Eva Kritikou · Johan Kuiper · Petri T Kovanen · Ilze Bot
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mast cells comprise an innate immune cell population, which accumulates in tissues proximal to the outside environment and, upon activation, augments the progression of immunological reactions through the release and diffusion of either pre-formed or newly generated mediators. The released products of mast cells include histamine, proteases, as well as a variety of cytokines, chemokines and growth factors, which act on the surrounding microenvironment thereby shaping the immune responses triggered in various diseased states. Mast cells have also been detected in the arterial wall and are implicated in the onset and progression of numerous cardiovascular diseases. Notably, modulation of distinct mast cell actions using genetic and pharmacological approaches highlights the crucial role of this cell type in cardiovascular syndromes. The acquired evidence renders mast cells and their mediators as potential prognostic markers and therapeutic targets in a broad spectrum of pathophysiological conditions related to cardiovascular diseases. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Article · May 2015 · European journal of pharmacology
  • Jolien Suurmond · Daniël van der Velden · Johan Kuiper · [...] · René E.M. Toes
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease with a complex disease pathogenesis leading to inflammation and destruction of synovial tissue in the joint. Several molecules lead to activation of immune pathways, including autoantibodies, Toll-Like Receptor ligands and cytokines. These pathways can cooperate to create the pro-inflammatory environment that results in tissue destruction. Each of these pathways can activate mast cells, inducing the release of a variety of inflammatory mediators, and in combination can markedly enhance mast cell responses. Mast cell-derived cytokines, chemokines, and proteases have the potential to induce recruitment of other leukocytes able to evoke tissue remodeling or destruction. Likewise, mast cells can secrete a plethora of factors that can contribute to tissue remodeling and fibroblast activation. Although the functional role of mast cells in arthritis pathogenesis in mice is not yet elucidated, the increased numbers of mast cells and mast cell-specific mediators in synovial tissue of rheumatoid arthritis patients suggest that mast cell activation in rheumatoid arthritis may contribute to its pathogenesis. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Article · May 2015 · European journal of pharmacology
  • Vanessa Frodermann · Gijs H M van Puijvelde · Laura Wierts · [...] · Saskia C A de Jager
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Modulation of immune responses may form a powerful approach to treat atherosclerosis. It was shown that clearance of apoptotic cells results in tolerance induction to cleared Ags by dendritic cells (DCs); however, this seems impaired in atherosclerosis because Ag-specific tolerance is lacking. This could result, in part, from decreased emigration of DCs from atherosclerotic lesions because of the high-cholesterol environment. Nonetheless, local induction of anti-inflammatory responses by apoptotic cell clearance seems to dampen atherosclerosis, because inhibition of apoptotic cell clearance worsens atherosclerosis. In this study, we assessed whether i.v. administration of oxLDL-induced apoptotic DCs (apop(ox)-DCs) and, as a control, unpulsed apoptotic DCs could modulate atherosclerosis by inducing tolerance. Adoptive transfer of apop(ox)-DCs into low-density lipoprotein receptor knockout mice either before or during feeding of a Western-type diet resulted in increased numbers of CD103(+) tolerogenic splenic DCs, with a concomitant increase in regulatory T cells. Interestingly, both types of apoptotic DCs induced an immediate 40% decrease in Ly-6C(hi) monocyte numbers and a 50% decrease in circulating CCL2 levels, but only apop(ox)-DC treatment resulted in long-term effects on monocytes and CCL2 levels. Although initial lesion development was reduced by 40% in both treatment groups, only apop(ox)-DC treatment prevented lesion progression by 28%. Moreover, progressed lesions of apop(ox)-DC-treated mice showed a robust 45% increase in collagen content, indicating an enhanced stability of lesions. Our findings clearly show that apoptotic DC treatment significantly decreases lesion development, but only apop(ox)-DCs can positively modulate lesion progression and stability. These findings may translate into a safe treatment for patients with established cardiovascular diseases using patient-derived apop(ox)-DCs.
    Article · Feb 2015 · The Journal of Immunology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: Toll like receptor 4 (TLR4) plays a key role in inflammation and previously it was established that TLR4 deficiency attenuates atherosclerosis. RadioProtective 105 (RP105) is a structural homolog of TLR4 and an important regulator of TLR4 signaling, suggesting that RP105 may also be an important effector in atherosclerosis. We thus aimed to determine the role of RP105 in atherosclerotic lesion development using RP105 deficient mice on an atherosclerotic background. Methods and results: Atherosclerosis was induced in Western-type diet fed low density lipoprotein receptor deficient (LDLr(-/-)) and LDLr/RP105 double knockout (LDLr(-/-)/RP105(-/-)) mice by means of perivascular carotid artery collar placement. Lesion size was significantly reduced by 58% in LDLr(-/-)/RP105(-/-) mice, and moreover, plaque macrophage content was markedly reduced by 40%. In a model of acute peritonitis, monocyte influx was almost 3-fold reduced in LDLr(-/-)/RP105(-/-) mice (P = 0.001), while neutrophil influx remained unaltered, suggestive of an altered migratory capacity of monocytes upon deletion of RP105. Interestingly, in vitro stimulation of monocytes with LPS induced a downregulation of CCR2, a chemokine receptor crucially involved in monocyte influx to atherosclerotic lesions, which was more pronounced in LDLr(-/-)/RP105(-/-) monocytes as compared to LDLr(-/-) monocytes. Conclusion: We here show that RP105 deficiency results in reduced early atherosclerotic plaque development with a marked decrease in lesional macrophage content, which may be due to disturbed migration of RP105 deficient monocytes resulting from CCR2 downregulation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Article · Nov 2014 · Atherosclerosis
  • Amanda C Foks · Andrew H Lichtman · Johan Kuiper
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Regulatory T cells (Tregs) play an important role in the regulation of T-cell-mediated immune responses through suppression of T-cell proliferation and secretion of inhibitory cytokines, such as interleukin-10 and transforming growth factor-β. Impaired Treg numbers and function have been associated with numerous diseases, and an imbalance between proinflammatory/proatherogenic cells and Tregs promotes atherosclerotic disease. Restoration of this balance by inducing Tregs has great therapeutic potential to prevent cardiovascular disease. In addition to suppressing differentiation and function of effector T cells, Tregs have been shown to induce anti-inflammatory macrophages, inhibit foam cell formation and to influence cholesterol metabolism. Furthermore, Tregs suppress immune responses of endothelial cells and innate lymphoid cells. In this review, we focus on the recent knowledge on Treg subsets, their activity and function in atherosclerosis, and discuss promising strategies to use Tregs as a therapeutic tool to prevent cardiovascular disease. © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.
    Article · Nov 2014 · Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ubiquitously expressed mannose-6-phosphate receptors (MPRs) are a promising class of receptors for targeted compound delivery into the endolysosomal compartments of a variety of cell types. The development of a synthetic, multivalent, mannose-6-phosphate (M6P) glycopeptide-based MPR ligand is described. The conjugation of this ligand to fluorescent DCG-04, an activity-based probe for cysteine cathepsins, enabled fluorescent readout of its receptor-targeting properties. The resulting M6P-cluster–BODIPY–DCG-04 probe was shown to efficiently label cathepsins in cell lysates as well as in live cells. Furthermore, the introduction of the 6-O-phosphates leads to a completely altered uptake profile in COS and dendritic cells compared to a mannose-containing ligand. Competition with mannose-6-phosphate abolished all uptake of the probe in COS cells, and we conclude that the mannose-6-phosphate cluster targets the MPR and ensures the targeted delivery of cargo bound to the cluster into the endolysosomal pathway.
    Full-text available · Article · Aug 2014 · Angewandte Chemie

Publication Stats

4k Citations


  • 2007
    • Curium-LUMC
      Leyden, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 2006
    • Juntendo University
      Edo, Tokyo, Japan
  • 1992-2004
    • Leiden University
      • Leiden Amsterdam Center for Drug Research
      Leiden, South Holland, Netherlands