Publications by authors named "Karen Hollanders"

11 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

An in vitro air-liquid interface inhalation platform for petroleum substances and constituents.

ALTEX 2021 04 20. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

VITO NV (Flemish Institute for Technological Research), Unit HEALTH, Mol, Belgium.

The goal is to optimize and show the validity of an in vitro method for inhalation testing of petroleum substances and its constituents at the air-liquid interface (ALI). The approach is demonstrated in a pilot study with ethylbenzene (EB), a mono-constituent petroleum substance using a human alveolar epithelial cell line model. This included the development and validation of a generation facility to obtain EB vapors and the optimization of an exposure system for a negative control (clean air, CA), positive control (nitrogen dioxide), and EB vapors. The optimal settings for the VITROCELL® 24/48 system were defined. Cytotoxicity, cell viability, inflammation, and oxidative stress were assessed in A549 after exposure to EB vapors. A concentration-dependent significant decrease in mean cell viability was observed after exposure, which was confirmed by a cytotoxicity test. The oxidative stress marker superoxide dismutase 2 was significantly increased, but no concentration-response was observed. A concentration-dependent significant increase in pro-inflammatory markers C-C motif chemokine ligand 2, interleukin (IL)6, and IL8 was observed for EB-exposed A549 cells compared to CA. The data demonstrated consistency between in vivo air concentrations at which adverse respiratory effects were observed and ALI-concentrations affecting cell viability, provided that the actual measured in vitro delivery efficiency of the compound were included. It can be concluded that extrapolating in vitro air concentrations (adjusted for delivery efficiency and absorption characteristics and applied for testing cell viability) to simulate in vivo air concentrations may be a promising method to screen for acute inhalation toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14573/altex.2010211DOI Listing
April 2021

Reprint of "CON4EI: Bovine Corneal Opacity and Permeability (BCOP) test for hazard identification and labelling of eye irritating chemicals".

Toxicol In Vitro 2018 Jun 27;49:53-64. Epub 2018 Mar 27.

VITO NV (Flemish Institute for Technological Research), Mol, Belgium.

Assessment of ocular irritation potential is an international regulatory requirement in the safety evaluation of industrial and consumer products. None in vitro ocular irritation assays are capable of fully categorizing chemicals as stand-alone. Therefore, the CEFIC-LRI-AIMT6-VITO CON4EI consortium assessed the reliability of eight in vitro test methods and computational models as well as established a tiered-testing strategy. One of the selected assays was Bovine Corneal Opacity and Permeability (BCOP). In this project, the same corneas were used for measurement of opacity using the OP-KIT, the Laser Light-Based Opacitometer (LLBO) and for histopathological analysis. The results show that the accuracy of the BCOP OP-KIT in identifying Cat 1 chemicals was 73.8% while the accuracy was 86.3% for No Cat chemicals. BCOP OP-KIT false negative results were often related to an in vivo classification driven by conjunctival effects only. For the BCOP LLBO, the accuracy in identifying Cat 1 chemicals was 74.4% versus 88.8% for No Cat chemicals. The BCOP LLBO seems very promising for the identification of No Cat liquids but less so for the identification of solids. Histopathology as an additional endpoint to the BCOP test method does not reduce the false negative rate substantially for in vivo Cat 1 chemicals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tiv.2018.03.005DOI Listing
June 2018

CON4EI: Bovine Corneal Opacity and Permeability (BCOP) test for hazard identification and labelling of eye irritating chemicals.

Toxicol In Vitro 2017 Oct 30;44:122-133. Epub 2017 Jun 30.

VITO NV (Flemish Institute for Technological Research), Mol, Belgium.

Assessment of ocular irritation potential is an international regulatory requirement in the safety evaluation of industrial and consumer products. None in vitro ocular irritation assays are capable of fully categorizing chemicals as stand-alone. Therefore, the CEFIC-LRI-AIMT6-VITO CON4EI consortium assessed the reliability of eight in vitro test methods and computational models as well as established a tiered-testing strategy. One of the selected assays was Bovine Corneal Opacity and Permeability (BCOP). In this project, the same corneas were used for measurement of opacity using the OP-KIT, the Laser Light-Based Opacitometer (LLBO) and for histopathological analysis. The results show that the accuracy of the BCOP OP-KIT in identifying Cat 1 chemicals was 73.8% while the accuracy was 86.3% for No Cat chemicals. BCOP OP-KIT false negative results were often related to an in vivo classification driven by conjunctival effects only. For the BCOP LLBO, the accuracy in identifying Cat 1 chemicals was 74.4% versus 88.8% for No Cat chemicals. The BCOP LLBO seems very promising for the identification of No Cat liquids but less so for the identification of solids. Histopathology as an additional endpoint to the BCOP test method does not reduce the false negative rate substantially for in vivo Cat 1 chemicals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tiv.2017.06.028DOI Listing
October 2017

Peripheral blood collection: the first step towards gene expression profiling.

Biomarkers 2016 Jul 17;21(5):458-65. Epub 2016 Mar 17.

a Unit Environmental Risk and Health, Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO NV) , Mol , Belgium ;

A crucial challenge for gene expression analysis in human biomonitoring studies on whole blood samples is rapid sample handling and mRNA stabilization. This study was designed to evaluate the impact of short bench times (less than 30 min) on yield, quality and gene expression of mRNA in the presence of different stabilization buffers (Tempus(TM) Blood RNA tube and RNAlater(®) Stabilization Reagent). Microarray analyzes showed significant changes over short periods of time in expression of a considerate part of the transcriptome (2356 genes) with a prominent role for NFкB-, cancer- and glucocorticoid-mediated networks, and specifically interleukin-8 (IL-8). These findings suggest that even short bench times affect gene expression, requiring to carry out blood collection in a strictly standardized way.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/1354750X.2016.1153721DOI Listing
July 2016

Phenotypic and biomarker evaluation of zebrafish larvae as an alternative model to predict mammalian hepatotoxicity.

J Appl Toxicol 2016 09 4;36(9):1194-206. Epub 2016 Mar 4.

VITO NV, Applied Bio & Molecular Systems, Boeretang 200, B-2400, Mol, Belgium.

Zebrafish phenotypic assays have shown promise to assess human hepatotoxicity, though scoring of liver morphology remains subjective and difficult to standardize. Liver toxicity in zebrafish larvae at 5 days was assessed using gene expression as the biomarker approach, complementary to phenotypic analysis and analytical data on compound uptake. This approach aimed to contribute to improved hepatotoxicity prediction, with the goal of identifying biomarker(s) as a step towards the development of transgenic models for prioritization. Morphological effects of hepatotoxic compounds (acetaminophen, amiodarone, coumarin, methapyrilene and myclobutanil) and saccharin as the negative control were assessed after exposure in zebrafish larvae. The hepatotoxic compounds induced the expected zebrafish liver degeneration or changes in size, whereas saccharin did not have any phenotypic adverse effect. Analytical methods based on liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry were optimized to measure stability of selected compounds in exposure medium and internal concentration in larvae. All compounds were stable, except amiodarone for which precipitation was observed. There was a wide variation between the levels of compound in the zebrafish larvae with a higher uptake of amiodarone, methapyrilene and myclobutanil. Detection of hepatocyte markers (CP, CYP3A65, GC and TF) was accomplished by in situ hybridization of larvae to coumarin and myclobutanil and confirmed by real-time reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Experiments showed decreased expression of all markers. Next, other liver-specific biomarkers (i.e. FABP10a and NR1H4) and apoptosis (i.e. CASP-3 A and TP53) or cytochrome P450-related (CYP2K19) and oxidoreductase activity-related (ZGC163022) genes, were screened. Links between basic mechanisms of liver injury and results of biomarker responses are described. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jat.3288DOI Listing
September 2016

Targeted resequencing of HIV variants by microarray thermodynamics.

Nucleic Acids Res 2013 Oct 8;41(18):e173. Epub 2013 Aug 8.

Flemish Institute for Technological Research, VITO, Boeretang 200, B-2400 Mol, Belgium, Institute for Theoretical Physics, KULeuven, Celestijnenlaan 200D, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium, Janssen Diagnostics bvba, Turnhoutseweg 30, B-2340 Beerse, Belgium and Theoretical Physics, Hasselt University, Campus Diepenbeek, Agoralaan - Building D, B-3590, Diepenbeek, Belgium.

Within a single infected individual, a virus population can have a high genomic variability. In the case of HIV, several mutations can be present even in a small genomic window of 20-30 nucleotides. For diagnostics purposes, it is often needed to resequence genomic subsets where crucial mutations are known to occur. In this article, we address this issue using DNA microarrays and inputs from hybridization thermodynamics. Hybridization signals from multiple probes are analysed, including strong signals from perfectly matching (PM) probes and a large amount of weaker cross-hybridization signals from mismatching (MM) probes. The latter are crucial in the data analysis. Seven coded clinical samples (HIV-1) are analyzed, and the microarray results are in full concordance with Sanger sequencing data. Moreover, the thermodynamic analysis of microarray signals resolves inherent ambiguities in Sanger data of mixed samples and provides additional clinically relevant information. These results show the reliability and added value of DNA microarrays for point-of-care diagnostic purposes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkt682DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3794611PMC
October 2013

Nonrecurrent MECP2 duplications mediated by genomic architecture-driven DNA breaks and break-induced replication repair.

Genome Res 2008 Jun 2;18(6):847-58. Epub 2008 Apr 2.

Human Genome Laboratory, Department for Molecular and Developmental Genetics, VIB, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium.

Recurrent submicroscopic genomic copy number changes are the result of nonallelic homologous recombination (NAHR). Nonrecurrent aberrations, however, can result from different nonexclusive recombination-repair mechanisms. We previously described small microduplications at Xq28 containing MECP2 in four male patients with a severe neurological phenotype. Here, we report on the fine-mapping and breakpoint analysis of 16 unique microduplications. The size of the overlapping copy number changes varies between 0.3 and 2.3 Mb, and FISH analysis on three patients demonstrated a tandem orientation. Although eight of the 32 breakpoint regions coincide with low-copy repeats, none of the duplications are the result of NAHR. Bioinformatics analysis of the breakpoint regions demonstrated a 2.5-fold higher frequency of Alu interspersed repeats as compared with control regions, as well as a very high GC content (53%). Unexpectedly, we obtained the junction in only one patient by long-range PCR, which revealed nonhomologous end joining as the mechanism. Breakpoint analysis in two other patients by inverse PCR and subsequent array comparative genomic hybridization analysis demonstrated the presence of a second duplicated region more telomeric at Xq28, of which one copy was inserted in between the duplicated MECP2 regions. These data suggest a two-step mechanism in which part of Xq28 is first inserted near the MECP2 locus, followed by breakage-induced replication with strand invasion of the normal sister chromatid. Our results indicate that the mechanism by which copy number changes occur in regions with a complex genomic architecture can yield complex rearrangements.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/gr.075903.107DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2413152PMC
June 2008

Detection of genomic copy number changes in patients with idiopathic mental retardation by high-resolution X-array-CGH: important role for increased gene dosage of XLMR genes.

Hum Mutat 2007 Oct;28(10):1034-42

Human Genome Laboratory, Department for Molecular and Developmental Genetics, VIB, Leuven, Belgium.

A tiling X-chromosome-specific genomic array with a theoretical resolution of 80 kb was developed to screen patients with idiopathic mental retardation (MR) for submicroscopic copy number differences. Four patients with aberrations previously detected at lower resolution were first analyzed. This facilitated delineation of the location and extent of the aberration at high resolution and subsequently, more precise genotype-phenotype analyses. A cohort of 108 patients was screened, 57 of which were suspected of X-linked mental retardation (XLMR), 26 were probands of brother pairs, and 25 were sporadic cases. A total of 15 copy number changes in 14 patients (13%) were detected, which included two deletions and 13 duplications ranging from 0.1 to 2.7 Mb. The aberrations are associated with the phenotype in five patients (4.6%), based on the following criteria: de novo aberration; involvement of a known or candidate X-linked nonsyndromic(syndromic) MR (MRX(S)) gene; segregation with the disease in the family; absence in control individuals; and skewed X-inactivation in carrier females. These include deletions that contain the MRX(S) genes CDKL5, OPHN1, and CASK, and duplications harboring CDKL5, NXF5, MECP2, and GDI1. In addition, seven imbalances were apparent novel polymorphic regions because they do not fulfill the proposed criteria. Taken together, our data strongly suggest that not only deletions but also duplications on the X chromosome contribute to the phenotype more often than expected, supporting the increased gene dosage mechanism for deregulation of normal cognitive development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.20564DOI Listing
October 2007

Duplication of the MECP2 region is a frequent cause of severe mental retardation and progressive neurological symptoms in males.

Am J Hum Genet 2005 Sep 29;77(3):442-53. Epub 2005 Jul 29.

Centre for Human Genetics, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Leuven, Belgium.

Loss-of-function mutations of the MECP2 gene at Xq28 are associated with Rett syndrome in females and with syndromic and nonsyndromic forms of mental retardation (MR) in males. By array comparative genomic hybridization (array-CGH), we identified a small duplication at Xq28 in a large family with a severe form of MR associated with progressive spasticity. Screening by real-time quantitation of 17 additional patients with MR who have similar phenotypes revealed three more duplications. The duplications in the four patients vary in size from 0.4 to 0.8 Mb and harbor several genes, which, for each duplication, include the MR-related L1CAM and MECP2 genes. The proximal breakpoints are located within a 250-kb region centromeric of L1CAM, whereas the distal breakpoints are located in a 300-kb interval telomeric of MECP2. The precise size and location of each duplication is different in the four patients. The duplications segregate with the disease in the families, and asymptomatic carrier females show complete skewing of X inactivation. Comparison of the clinical features in these patients and in a previously reported patient enables refinement of the genotype-phenotype correlation and strongly suggests that increased dosage of MECP2 results in the MR phenotype. Our findings demonstrate that, in humans, not only impaired or abolished gene function but also increased MeCP2 dosage causes a distinct phenotype. Moreover, duplication of the MECP2 region occurs frequently in male patients with a severe form of MR, which justifies quantitative screening of MECP2 in this group of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/444549DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1226209PMC
September 2005

Deletion of VCX-A due to NAHR plays a major role in the occurrence of mental retardation in patients with X-linked ichthyosis.

Hum Mol Genet 2005 Jul 11;14(13):1795-803. Epub 2005 May 11.

Department of Human Genetics, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Leuven, Belgium.

X-linked ichthyosis (XLI) is often associated with a recurrent microdeletion at Xp22.31 due to non-allelic homologous recombination between the CRI-S232 low-copy repeat regions flanking the STS gene. The clinical features of these patients may include mental retardation (MR) and the VCX-A gene has been proposed as the candidate MR gene. Analysis of DNA from four XLI patients with MR by array-comparative genomic hybridization (array-CGH) on a 150 kb resolution X chromosome-specific array revealed a 1.5 Mb interstitial microdeletion with breakpoints in the CRI-S232 repeat sequences, each of which harbors a VCX gene. We demonstrate that the recombination sites in all four cases are situated in the 1 kb repeat unit 2 region present at the 3' ends of the VCX-A and VCX-B genes thereby deleting VCX-A and VCX-B1 but not VCX-B and VCX-C. Array-CGH with DNA of an XLI patient with MR and an inherited t(X;Y)(p22.31;q11.2) showed an Xpter deletion of 8.0 Mb resulting in the deletion of all four VCX genes and duplication of both VCY homologs. These data confirm the role of VCX-A in the occurrence of MR in XLI patients. Moreover, we propose a VCX/Y teamwork-dependent mechanism for the incidence of mental impairment in XLI patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddi186DOI Listing
July 2005

CALL interrupted in a patient with non-specific mental retardation: gene dosage-dependent alteration of murine brain development and behavior.

Hum Mol Genet 2003 Jul;12(13):1463-74

Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), Center for Human Genetics, Leuven, Belgium.

Investigation of MR patients with 3p aberrations led to the identification of the translocation breakpoint in intron five of the neural Cell Adhesion L1-Like (CALL or CHL1) gene in a man with non-specific mental retardation and 46,Y, t(X;3)(p22.1;p26.3). The Xp breakpoint does not seem to affect a known or predicted gene. Moreover, a fusion transcript with the CALL gene could not be detected and no mutations were identified on the second allele. CALL is highly expressed in the central and peripheral nervous system, like the mouse ortholog 'close homolog to L1' (Chl1). Chl1 expression levels in the hippocampus of Chl1(+/-) mice were half of those obtained in wild-type littermates, reflecting a gene dosage effect. Timm staining and synaptophysin immunohistochemistry of the hippocampus showed focal groups of ectopic mossy fiber synapses in the lateral CA3 region, outside the trajectory of the infra-pyramidal mossy fiber bundle in Chl1(-/-) and Chl1(+/-) mice. Behavioral assessment demonstrated mild alterations in the Chl1(-/-) animals. In the probe trial of the Morris Water Maze test, Chl1(-/-) mice displayed an altered exploratory pattern. In addition, these mice were significantly more sociable and less aggressive as demonstrated in social exploration tests. The Chl1(+/-) mice showed a phenotypic spectrum ranging from wild-type to knockout behavior. We hypothesize that a 50% reduction of CALL expression in the developing brain results in cognitive deficits. This suggests that the CALL gene at 3p26.3 is a prime candidate for an autosomal form of mental retardation. So far, mutation analysis of the CALL gene in patients with non-specific MR did not reveal any disease-associated mutations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddg165DOI Listing
July 2003