Publications by authors named "Lucien A Aarden"

26 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

FSAP-mediated nucleosome release from late apoptotic cells is inhibited by autoantibodies present in SLE.

Eur J Immunol 2016 Mar 22;46(3):762-71. Epub 2015 Dec 22.

Department of Immunopathology, Sanquin Research, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Landsteiner Laboratory, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Inefficient clearance of apoptotic cells and the subsequent exposure of the immune system to nuclear contents are crucially involved in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Factor VII-activating protease (FSAP) is activated in serum upon contact with dead cells, and releases nucleosomes from late apoptotic cells into the extracellular environment. We investigated whether FSAP-mediated nucleosome release from late apoptotic cells is affected in SLE patients. Nucleosome release in sera of 27 SLE patients and 30 healthy controls was investigated by incubating late apoptotic Jurkat cells with serum and analyzing the remaining DNA content by flow cytometry. We found that nucleosome release in sera of SLE patients with high disease activity was significantly decreased when compared with that in SLE sera obtained during low disease activity or from healthy individuals. Upon removal of IgG/IgM antibodies from SLE sera, nucleosome release was restored. Similarly, monoclonal antinuclear antibodies inhibited nucleosome release in healthy donor serum or by plasma-purified FSAP. This inhibition was lost when Fab fragments were used, suggesting that antigen cross-linking is involved. In conclusion, FSAP-mediated nucleosome release from late apoptotic cells is greatly impaired in SLE patient sera, possibly hampering the clearance of these cells and thereby propagating inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eji.201546010DOI Listing
March 2016

Cooperation of factor VII-activating protease and serum DNase I in the release of nucleosomes from necrotic cells.

Arthritis Rheumatol 2014 Mar;66(3):686-93

Sanquin Blood Supply Foundation, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Objective: Removal of dead cells is essential in the maintenance of tissue homeostasis, and efficient removal prevents exposure of intracellular content to the immune system, which could lead to autoimmunity. The plasma protease factor VII-activating protease (FSAP) can release nucleosomes from late apoptotic cells. FSAP circulates as an inactive single-chain protein, which is activated upon contact with either apoptotic cells or necrotic cells. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of FSAP in the release of nucleosomes from necrotic cells.

Methods: Necrotic Jurkat cells were incubated with serum, purified 2-chain FSAP, and/or DNase I. Nucleosome release was analyzed by flow cytometry, and agarose gel electrophoresis was performed to detect DNA breakdown.

Results: Incubation with serum released nucleosomes from necrotic cells. Incubation with FSAP-deficient serum or serum in which FSAP was inhibited by a blocking antibody was unable to release nucleosomes from necrotic cells, confirming that FSAP is indeed the essential serum factor in this process. Together with serum DNase I, FSAP induced the release of DNA from the cells, the appearance of nucleosomes in the supernatant, and the fragmentation of chromatin into eventually mononucleosomes.

Conclusion: FSAP and DNase I are the essential serum factors that cooperate in necrotic cell DNA degradation and nucleosome release. We propose that this mechanism may be important in the removal of potential autoantigens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.38265DOI Listing
March 2014

Antibodies to constant domains of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies: anti-hinge antibodies in immunogenicity testing.

J Immunol Methods 2012 Jan 1;375(1-2):93-9. Epub 2011 Oct 1.

Sanquin Research and Landsteiner Laboratory, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Rheumatoid factors are antibodies directed against IgG that may confound immunogenicity testing for therapeutic monoclonal antibodies. We developed antigen-binding assays to monitor anti-drug-antibody (ADA) responses against infliximab and adalimumab using F(ab')2 fragments of the drug. This avoids possible detection of rheumatoid factor activity. During development of these assays, a number of sera from patients before treatment as well as several healthy control sera were tested positive. None of these sera contained antibodies specific for the therapeutic mAb. Instead, they were found to contain anti-hinge antibodies. We demonstrate that this aspecific antibody binding can be inhibited by adding F(ab')2 of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), which consists of pooled polyclonal IgG derived from plasma. Using this protocol, anti-infliximab antibodies can be measured specifically without interference by anti-hinge antibodies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jim.2011.09.011DOI Listing
January 2012

Differential effect of drug interference in immunogenicity assays.

J Immunol Methods 2011 Sep 29;372(1-2):196-203. Epub 2011 Jul 29.

Department of Immunopathology, Sanquin Research and Landsteiner Laboratory AMC, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The presence of anti-drug antibodies (ADA) in adalimumab-treated patients is associated with reduced serum adalimumab levels and a lower clinical response. Currently, there is no standard for measurement of anti-drug antibodies and many factors influence the results. Consequently, the incidence of ADA as reported in different studies varies considerably. Here we investigated the differential effect of drug interference in two common types of assays used to measure anti-adalimumab: an antigen binding test (ABT) and a more often-used bridging elisa. We measured ADA to adalimumab in a cohort of 216 rheumatoid arthritis patients treated with adalimumab for 28 weeks. Only 15 samples (7%) were positive in the bridging elisa, compared to 29 (13%) in the ABT, despite the fact that the bridging elisa was the most sensitive assay. Furthermore, in an ABT specific for IgG4, 48 samples (22%) were found positive. The bridging elisa was found to detect only the bivalent form of (drug-specific) IgG4, resulting in an underestimation of ADA levels. However, the predominant reason for the different outcomes of these assays was a differential susceptibility to drug interference. In particular, the bridging elisa only detected ADA in the absence of detectable amounts of circulating adalimumab and is therefore not suited for measurement of ADA in complex with the drug. In summary, we showed that a bridging elisa is susceptible to drug interference and typically measures ADA only in absence of detectable drug levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jim.2011.07.019DOI Listing
September 2011

Changes of ferritin and CRP levels in melanoma patients treated with adjuvant interferon-α (EORTC 18952) and prognostic value on treatment outcome.

Melanoma Res 2011 Aug;21(4):344-51

Laboratory Experimental Surgical Oncology, Section Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam 3015 GE, The Netherlands.

Adjuvant therapy with interferon-α (IFN) only benefits a small subgroup of melanoma patients and a predictive marker selecting responders does not exist. IFN induces increased ferritin and decreased C-reactive protein (CRP) levels; however, an association with treatment effect was not studied. Serum was collected from patients participating in the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer 18 952 trial comparing adjuvant treatment with IFN to observation. Serial ferritin and CRP levels were determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, before treatment and up to 24 months. Ferritin levels are influenced by sex and age; therefore ratios of serial ferritin and CRP values with corresponding pretreatment values were calculated. Cox regression model and landmark method at end of induction and 6 months were used to evaluate the association between ferritin, CRP and distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS). Baseline ferritin levels were comparable in the two treatment groups (P=0.92). However, ferritin ratios were significantly higher in IFN-treated patients (N=96) compared with untreated patients (N=21) at end of induction (mean: 2.88 vs. 0.75; P=0.0003) and at 6 months (mean: 3.18 vs. 1.02; P=0.009). In the IFN arm, higher ferritin ratios at end of induction and at 6 months were not associated with improved outcome (respectively, P=0.66 and 0.86). Concerning CRP ratios, no differences between the treatment groups, neither an association with DMFS, were observed. Administration of IFN in melanoma patients induced increase in ferritin levels but not in CRP levels. Ferritin and CRP ratios have no prognostic value regarding DMFS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CMR.0b013e328346c17fDOI Listing
August 2011

Activation of factor VII-activating protease in human inflammation: a sensor for cell death.

Crit Care 2011 5;15(2):R110. Epub 2011 Apr 5.

Department of Immunopathology, Sanquin Research at CLB and Landsteiner Laboratory of AMC, Plesmanlaan 125, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Introduction: Cell death is a central event in the pathogenesis of sepsis and is reflected by circulating nucleosomes. Circulating nucleosomes were suggested to play an important role in inflammation and were demonstrated to correlate with severity and outcome in sepsis patients. We recently showed that plasma can release nucleosomes from late apoptotic cells. Factor VII-activating protease (FSAP) was identified to be the plasma serine protease responsible for nucleosome release. The aim of this study was to investigate FSAP activation in patients suffering from various inflammatory diseases of increasing severity.

Methods: We developed ELISAs to measure FSAP-C1-inhibitor and FSAP-α2-antiplasmin complexes in plasma. FSAP-inhibitor complexes were measured in the plasma of 20 adult patients undergoing transhiatal esophagectomy, 32 adult patients suffering from severe sepsis and 8 from septic shock and 38 children suffering from meningococcal sepsis.

Results: We demonstrate plasma FSAP to be activated upon contact with apoptotic and necrotic cells by an assay detecting complexes between FSAP and its target serpins α2-antiplasmin and C1-inhibitor, respectively. By means of that assay we demonstrate FSAP activation in post-surgery patients, patients suffering from severe sepsis, septic shock and meningococcal sepsis. Levels of FSAP-inhibitor complexes correlate with nucleosome levels and correlate with severity and mortality in these patients.

Conclusions: These results suggest FSAP activation to be a sensor for cell death in the circulation and that FSAP activation in sepsis might be involved in nucleosome release, thereby contributing to lethality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/cc10131DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3219388PMC
December 2011

Measurement of serum levels of natalizumab, an immunoglobulin G4 therapeutic monoclonal antibody.

Anal Biochem 2011 Apr 7;411(2):271-6. Epub 2011 Jan 7.

Sanquin Research, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Human immunoglobulin G4 (IgG4) is a poor trigger of effector functions and, therefore, is the preferred subclass for therapeutic monoclonal antibodies that merely aim to block their in vivo targets. An example is natalizumab, a recombinant IgG4 antibody directed against α4-integrin and used for treatment of multiple sclerosis. Efficient treatment requires that the pharmacokinetics of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies can be accurately monitored. For natalizumab, this requires special precautions due to recently reported structural peculiarities of human IgG4. Here we describe the development of an assay to determine serum levels of natalizumab. Compared with other IgG subclasses, human IgG4 possesses unique structural properties that influence its interactions in both in vivo and in vitro settings. Thus, IgG4 undergoes Fab arm exchange in vivo, resulting in effectively monovalent antibodies. Furthermore, IgG4 is able to bind to other human and nonhuman IgG via Fc interactions. We demonstrate how these features can interfere with measurement of specific IgG4 and describe how we addressed these issues, resulting in an assay that is not sensitive to Fab arm exchange by natalizumab or to IgG4 Fc interactions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ab.2011.01.001DOI Listing
April 2011

Intravenous clusterin administration reduces myocardial infarct size in rats.

Eur J Clin Invest 2010 Oct;40(10):893-902

Department of Pathology, VU Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Background: Clusterin (Apolipoprotein J), a plasma protein with cytoprotective and complement-inhibiting activities, localizes in the infarcted heart during myocardial infarction (MI). Recently, we have shown a protective effect of exogenous clusterin in vitro on ischaemically challenged cardiomyocytes independent of complement. We therefore hypothesized that intravenous clusterin administration would reduce myocardial infarction damage.

Methods: Wistar rats undergoing experimental MI, induced by 40 min ligation of a coronary vessel, were treated with either clusterin (n=15) or vehicle (n=13) intravenously, for 3 days post-MI. After 4 weeks, hearts were analysed. The putative role of megalin, a clusterin receptor, was also studied.

Results: Administration of human clusterin significantly reduced both infarct size (with 75 ± 5%) and death of animals (23% vehicle group vs. 0% clusterin group). Importantly, histochemical analysis showed no signs of impaired wound healing in the clusterin group. In addition, significantly increased numbers of macrophages were found in the clusterin group. We also found that the clusterin receptor megalin was present on cardiomyocytes in vitro which, however, was not influenced by ischaemia. Human clusterin co-localized with this receptor in vitro, but not in the human heart. In addition, using a megalin inhibitor, we found that clusterin did not exert its protective effect on cardiomyocytes through megalin.

Conclusions: Our results thus show that clusterin has a protective effect on cardiomyocytes after acute myocardial infarction in vivo, independent of its receptor megalin. This indicates that clusterin, or a clusterin derivate, is a potential therapeutic agent in the treatment of MI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2362.2010.02345.xDOI Listing
October 2010

Development and validation of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the quantification of trastuzumab in human serum and plasma.

Anal Biochem 2009 Aug 22;391(2):114-20. Epub 2009 May 22.

Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Slotervaart Hospital/The Netherlands Cancer Institute, 1066 EC Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Trastuzumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody, is used for the treatment of breast cancer patients who overexpress the HER2 receptor. To optimize therapy, pharmacokinetic studies are necessary. The aim of this study was to develop an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for trastuzumab to support these pharmacokinetic studies. For this immunoassay, we raised anti-idiotype antibodies in rabbits. After purification of the rabbit material, the anti-idiotype antibodies are used as capturing antibodies on the ELISA plate. After trastuzumab has bound to the catcher antibody, a sandwich ELISA procedure is followed whereby biotinylated anti-idiotype antibodies can bind to trastuzumab. Detection is performed by streptavidin-polyHRP (poly-horseradish peroxidase) conjugate and (3,5,3',5')-tetramethylbenzidine (TMB) substrate. The reaction is stopped using sulfuric acid, and the absorbance is measured at 450 nm. The calibration range of the assay is 0.039 to 5 ng/ml in well. Because samples are analyzed in multiple dilutions, the validated range corresponds to 1.6 to 1600 ng/ml in undiluted serum. Samples above the upper limit of quantification (ULOQ) can be diluted before transfer to the assay plates. Validation results demonstrate that trastuzumab can be accurately and precisely quantified in human serum and plasma. The assay is now used to support pharmacokinetic studies with trastuzumab in human serum and plasma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ab.2009.05.030DOI Listing
August 2009

Dealing with immunogenicity of biologicals: assessment and clinical relevance.

Curr Opin Rheumatol 2009 May;21(3):211-5

Department of Rheumatology, Jan van Breemen Institute, Dr Jan van Breemenstraat 2, Amsterdam 1056 AB, The Netherlands.

Purpose Of Review: In the last decade, biologicals revolutionized rheumatology. An increasing number of patients benefit from biotherapeuticals. However, some patients do not respond to treatment and others lose their response after a certain time. Immunogenicity is one of the factors linked to secondary nonresponse but its clinical significance has remained controversial.

Recent Findings: In recent years, knowledge of how to assess immunogenicity of biologicals has improved. Various reports show an inverse relationship between drug levels and antibody formation against the drug. Studies associated immunogenicity of therapeutic antibodies with clinically significant nonresponse in a subgroup of patients. Clinically relevant immunogenicity is influenced by several factors including dosing and concomitant medication. It has been shown that immunogenicity against biologicals can be persistent or transient.

Summary: Immunogenicity affects a significant number of patients treated with biologicals. Monitoring of drug levels as well as of antibodies against therapeutic antibodies may lead to more rational treatment strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/bor.0b013e328329ed8bDOI Listing
May 2009

High-throughput analysis of the C4 polymorphism by a combination of MLPA and isotype-specific ELISA's.

Mol Immunol 2009 Feb 5;46(4):592-600. Epub 2008 Dec 5.

Department of Immunopathology, Sanquin Research at CLB and Landsteiner Laboratory, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Complement factor C4 exists as two main isotypes, C4A and C4B, with different functional properties and encoded by two separate genes. In addition, C4A and C4B genes can occur in multiple copies and may carry a retroviral HERV-K(C4) insertion in intron 9. To study association of C4 polymorphism with disease, accurate genotyping and phenotyping is important. However, current techniques are very laborious and not suitable to study large patient groups. Therefore, we aimed to develop novel assays for C4 geno- and phenotyping, to make high throughput possible. To study C4 gene copy number variation, a novel Multiplex Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification (MLPA) assay was set up with three synthetic probe parts. C4A and C4B protein levels were measured by isotype-specific ELISA's. The relationship between C4 genotype with C4A and C4B serum concentrations was examined in 104 healthy lab workers and 66 children with meningococcal disease. As expected, a strong positive correlation was found between C4A and C4B gene copy number and serum levels of total C4, C4A and C4B. In the healthy controls, 95.3% of C4A genes and 53.7% of C4B genes carried the HERV-K(C4) insertion. Presence of HERV-K(C4) resulted in less C4B protein expression, while there was no effect on total C4 levels. In the meningitis patients, no increased incidence of hetero- or homozygous deficiency of either C4A or C4B was found. In conclusion, the combination of MLPA and ELISA is very suitable to study the geno- and phenotype of complement C4 in large patient groups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molimm.2008.07.028DOI Listing
February 2009

Nucleosome-releasing factor: a new role for factor VII-activating protease (FSAP).

FASEB J 2008 Dec 27;22(12):4077-84. Epub 2008 Aug 27.

Department of Immunopathology, Sanquin Research at CLB, Plesmanlaan 125, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Plasma proteins such as early complement components and IgM are involved in the removal of late apoptotic or secondary necrotic (sn) cells. We have recently described how a plasma protease that could be inhibited by the protease inhibitor aprotinin was essential to remove nucleosomes from sn cells. An obvious candidate, plasmin, did indeed have nucleosome-releasing factor (NRF) activity. However, recalcified plasma (r-plasma) retained its NRF activity after plasminogen depletion, which suggests the existence of another protease responsible for NRF activity in plasma. In this study we have used size-exclusion and anion-exchange chromatography to purify the protease responsible for NRF activity in plasma. SDS-PAGE analysis of chromatography fractions containing NRF activity revealed a protein band corresponding with NRF activity. Sequence analysis showed this band to be factor VII-activating protease (FSAP). We developed monoclonal antibodies to FSAP and were able to completely inhibit NRF activity in plasma with monoclonal antibodies to FSAP. Using affinity chromatography we were able to purify single-chain (sc) FSAP from r-plasma. Purified scFSAP efficiently removes nucleosomes from sn cells. We report that factor VII-activating protease may function in cellular homeostasis by catalyzing the release of nucleosomes from secondary necrotic cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1096/fj.08-110429DOI Listing
December 2008

Oncogene-induced senescence relayed by an interleukin-dependent inflammatory network.

Cell 2008 Jun;133(6):1019-31

Division of Molecular Genetics, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Oncogene-induced cellular senescence (OIS) is emerging as a potent cancer-protective response to oncogenic events, serving to eliminate early neoplastic cells from the proliferative pool. Using combined genetic and bioinformatic analysis, we find that OIS is linked specifically to the activation of an inflammatory transcriptome. Induced genes included the pleiotropic cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6), which upon secretion by senescent cells acted mitogenically in a paracrine fashion. Unexpectedly, IL-6 was also required for the execution of OIS, but in a cell-autonomous mode. Its depletion caused the inflammatory network to collapse and abolished senescence entry and maintenance. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the transcription factor C/EBPbeta cooperates with IL-6 to amplify the activation of the inflammatory network, including IL-8. In human colon adenomas, IL-8 specifically colocalized with arrested, p16(INK4A)-positive epithelium. We propose a model in which the context-dependent cytostatic and promitogenic functions of specific interleukins contribute to connect senescence with an inflammatory phenotype and cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2008.03.039DOI Listing
June 2008

Cytokine induction by pyrogens: comparison of whole blood, mononuclear cells, and TLR-transfectants.

J Immunol Methods 2008 Jul 22;336(1):45-55. Epub 2008 Apr 22.

Department of Immunopathology, Sanquin Research, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Given the shortcomings in the measurement of pyrogenic contamination of pharmaceuticals and/or test substances by means of the rabbit pyrogen test and the Limulus amoebocyte lysate (LAL) test, several in vitro pyrogen tests have been developed based on the measurement of cytokine production by monocytes. In this study we measured cytokine production (IL-6, IL-8, IL-1beta, and TNF) in diluted whole blood (WB), mononuclear cells (MNC), and HEK cells stably transfected with CD14 and Toll-like Receptor-2 (TLR2) or TLR4, after stimulation with both standard pyrogens and contaminated substances. Our study demonstrated that in MNC, IL-6 production was more sensitive to pyrogen stimulation than IL-1beta and TNF production. The sensitivity of WB IL-8 production for pyrogens was comparable with that of MNC IL-6 production, but higher than WB IL-6 production. MNC IL-8 production as readout for pyrogenic stimulation was not useful due to high background IL-8 production. Surprisingly, contaminated culture media potently stimulated WB IL-8 production, but not MNC IL-6 production. Finally, the value of TLR-transfected HEK cells in the detection of pyrogenic contamination as well as the role of IL-10 in interindividual differences in cytokine production, is discussed. To summarize, the results presented herein together with literature data indicate that the measurement of WB IL-8 production may represent an advantageous alternative to the measurement of MNC IL-6 production, for the detection of pyrogenic contamination of pharmaceuticals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jim.2008.03.010DOI Listing
July 2008

A plasma nucleosome releasing factor (NRF) with serine protease activity is instrumental in removal of nucleosomes from secondary necrotic cells.

FEBS Lett 2007 Nov 30;581(28):5382-8. Epub 2007 Oct 30.

Department of Immunopathology, Sanquin, Plesmanlaan 125, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

We observed that interaction of secondary necrotic (sn) cells with human serum or plasma leads to loss of DNA staining. The decrease turned out to be a result of nucleosome release and was specific for apoptotic cells as necrotic cells did not show this phenomenon. We named this activity in plasma nucleosome releasing factor (NRF). NRF activity was completely inhibited by trypsin inhibitors suggesting that a serine protease is involved. Upon testing a number of plasma candidate serine proteases we found that plasmin did have NRF activity. However, plasminogen-deficient plasma still had NRF activity indicating that NRF is not plasmin. We conclude that a yet unidentified plasma serine protease is involved in removal of nucleosomes from sn cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.febslet.2007.10.037DOI Listing
November 2007

Anti-inflammatory activity of human IgG4 antibodies by dynamic Fab arm exchange.

Science 2007 Sep;317(5844):1554-7

Sanquin Research-AMC Landsteiner Laboratory, Department of Immunopathology, Plesmanlaan 125, 1066 CX Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Antibodies play a central role in immunity by forming an interface with the innate immune system and, typically, mediate proinflammatory activity. We describe a novel posttranslational modification that leads to anti-inflammatory activity of antibodies of immunoglobulin G, isotype 4 (IgG4). IgG4 antibodies are dynamic molecules that exchange Fab arms by swapping a heavy chain and attached light chain (half-molecule) with a heavy-light chain pair from another molecule, which results in bispecific antibodies. Mutagenesis studies revealed that the third constant domain is critical for this activity. The impact of IgG4 Fab arm exchange was confirmed in vivo in a rhesus monkey model with experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis. IgG4 Fab arm exchange is suggested to be an important biological mechanism that provides the basis for the anti-inflammatory activity attributed to IgG4 antibodies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1144603DOI Listing
September 2007

Potentiation of Toll-like receptor-induced cytokine production by (1-->3)-beta-D-glucans: implications for the monocyte activation test.

J Endotoxin Res 2007 ;13(3):140-9

Department of Immunopathology, Sanquin Research, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The monocyte activation test (MAT) has been introduced as an alternative for the detection of pyrogens in pharmaceuticals with the rabbit pyrogen test or the Limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL) test. The basis of the MAT is that pyrogens, via Toll-like receptors (TLRs) expressed on monocytes, stimulate cytokine production. Here, we report that, at concentrations that did not induce whole blood cytokine production when tested separately, (1-->3)-beta-D-glucans powerfully co-stimulated cytokine production (IL-6/IL-8) induced by ligands for TLR1/2, TLR2/6, TLR4, and TLR5. Experiments were performed to investigate the involvement of particular (1-->3)-beta-D-glucan receptors such as dectin-1. Spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) inhibition attenuated the potentiating effects of (1-->3)-beta-D-glucans on TLR-induced cytokine production, suggesting that dectin-1 was involved. However, experiments with low molecular (1-->3)-beta-D-glucans such as laminarin argued against the involvement of dectin-1 in the co-stimulatory effects of (1-->3)-beta-D-glucans. Thus, although the receptors involved in the co-stimulatory actions of (1-->3)-beta-D-glucans on TLR-induced cytokine production are yet to be elucidated, it is clear that (1-->3)-beta-D-glucans may greatly affect MAT results and, when undetected in pharmaceuticals, may give rise to serious side-effects in patients co-exposed to other elicitors of innate immunity, such as during infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0968051907080024DOI Listing
September 2007

Decreased clinical response to infliximab in ankylosing spondylitis is correlated with anti-infliximab formation.

Ann Rheum Dis 2007 Sep 1;66(9):1252-4. Epub 2007 May 1.

VU University Medical Centre, Rheumatology department, room 4A-42, PO Box 7057, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Objectives: Correlation of serum trough infliximab levels and antibodies to infliximab (anti-infliximab) with clinical response in ankylosing spondylitis.

Methods: In accordance with the international ASsessment in Ankylosing Spondylitis (ASAS) consensus statement, patients were treated with infliximab (5 mg/kg) every 6 weeks after a starting regimen. Preinfusion sera were collected at baseline, 24 and 54 weeks. At every visit, the 20% improvement response (ASAS-20) was assessed and laboratory tests performed.

Results: 24 of the 38 (63%) patients fulfilled ASAS-20 response criteria after 24 weeks of treatment and 21 (53%) after 54 weeks. After 54 weeks, 11 (29%) patients showed undetectable serum trough infliximab levels and detectable anti-infliximab; six of these patients developed an infusion reaction. Anti-infliximab was found significantly more often (p = 0.04) in ASAS-20 non-responders compared with responders at week 54. Serum trough infliximab levels were significantly (p<0.0001) lower in patients with (mean 0.02 mg/l) than in those without (12.7 mg/l) anti-infliximab.

Conclusions: In ankylosing spondylitis, high levels of serum trough infliximab correlated with a good clinical response. Detection of anti-infliximab within 54 weeks is associated with undetectable serum trough infliximab levels, reduced response to treatment and increased risk of developing an infusion reaction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/ard.2007.072397DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1955152PMC
September 2007

Variable mannose-binding lectin expression during postoperative acute-phase response.

Surg Infect (Larchmt) 2006 Oct;7(5):443-52

Department of Surgery, Academic Medical Center Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Background: Low plasma concentrations and genetic polymorphisms of mannan-binding lectin (MBL) have been associated with infectious disease complications during various conditions. The present study examined the nature and expression of MBL deficiency during a surgery-induced acute-phase response.

Methods: Blood was sampled from 20 consecutive patients before and 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10 days and 6 weeks after a uniform abdominal operation (transhiatal esophagectomy). Plasma concentrations of MBL, C-reactive protein (CRP), and secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) were measured. Patients were classified as low- or high-level MBL producers by their preoperative concentration (<0.5 or > or = 0.5 micrograms/mL), and were cross-verified for actual MBL deficiency by nucleotide sequencing of both the MBL promoter and exon-1 alleles.

Results: Baseline plasma MBL concentrations correlated with maximal postoperative plasma concentrations (r = 0.88; p < 0.0001). This was not found for CRP and sPLA2 (r = 0.19 and r = 0.08, respectively). Alleles responsible for structural MBL variants were detected in 40% of patients and were associated with significantly reduced MBL concentrations (p = 0.005). The baseline cut-off value in plasma of 0.5 micrograms/mL clearly identified individuals with variant exon-1 alleles (sensitivity 100%, specificity 83%).

Conclusions: Baseline MBL plasma concentrations are predictive of MBL expression during the acute-phase response. A baseline cut-off value of 0.5 micrograms/mL can be used to identify patients with variants in the exon-1 region of the MBL gene without the need for nucleotide sequencing. Clinical studies may use this easy and quick method to identify MBL deficient patients preoperatively, as they are conditionally at risk for infectious complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/sur.2006.7.443DOI Listing
October 2006

Mannan-binding lectin (MBL)-mediated opsonization is enhanced by the alternative pathway amplification loop.

Mol Immunol 2006 May 24;43(13):2051-60. Epub 2006 Feb 24.

Sanquin Research-Academic Medical Centre Landsteiner Laboratory, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The complement system is a humoral effector in the innate immune system. Three activation pathways exist in the complement system, known as the classical pathway, the lectin pathway and the alternative pathway. Dysfunction of lectin pathway activation is caused by MBL deficiency. MBL deficiency in a cohort of healthy Caucasian blood bank donors was investigated with MBL genotyping and MBL plasma concentration. Recognition of the yeast-derived zymosan by MBL was investigated with Western blot. The involvement of the alternative pathway amplification loop in enhancing MBL-mediated opsonization of zymosan was investigated in a novel opsonophagocytosis assay for flow cytometry. Sera deficient for MBL, factor D or properdin were tested, and purified MBL, factor D or properdin were used to recover opsonization. The optimal receiver-operator characteristic (ROC) cut-off value for dividing the Caucasian cohort in MBL-sufficient and MBL-deficient was calculated at 0.7 microg/ml. Thirty-eight percent of the group had concentrations below 0.7 microg/ml. Zymosan eluates opsonized with MBL-sufficient sera contain high oligomers of MBL, while eluates from MBL-deficient donors contained hardly any MBL. The MBL-, factor D- and properdin-deficient sera showed reduced opsonophagocytosis by human control neutrophils, as compared to normal MBL-sufficient sera. This reduction in opsonization was restored to normal levels by addition of purified MBL, factor D and properdin. The absence of opsonization in the factor D- and properdin-deficient sera, but presence in normal serum after blocking with anti-C1q-F(ab)2 and anti-MBL-F(ab)2, demonstrates the involvement of the amplification loop in MBL-initiated zymosan opsonization, even at very low serum concentrations (up to 3%, v/v). In conclusion, our data demonstrate that the MBL-mediated route of complement activation depends on the alternative pathway amplification loop for optimal opsonization of zymosan.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molimm.2006.01.003DOI Listing
May 2006

High-affinity antibodies in a new immunoassay for plasma tissue factor: reduction in apparent intra-individual variation.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2005 ;43(12):1386-91

Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM), Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Tissue factor, the main initiator of blood coagulation, is shed into plasma by blood cells and endothelium. While studying such circulating plasma tissue factor with a commercially available immunoassay, we found unsatisfactory results and therefore developed a new and highly sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). High-affinity monoclonal antibodies raised against recombinant soluble tissue factor were used and the new assay had a detection limit of 40 fmol/L, approximately six-fold lower than existing assays. Normal ranges in 20 healthy donors were established in serum and in citrated EDTA and heparinized plasma. Tissue factor was also measured in three successive plasma samples from 43 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. In citrated plasma from healthy donors, tissue factor concentrations were 2.5 (1.0-9.3) pmol/L (median with range) and were not significantly different in diabetics. With a commercially available immunoassay, seven plasma samples were below the detection limit. Use of the new assay reduced intra-individual variation in diabetics from 49% to 14% and we conclude that high-affinity antibodies may markedly improve immunoassay performance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2005.237DOI Listing
March 2006

State and diagnostic value of plasma tissue factor in early-hospitalised patients with chest pain.

Br J Haematol 2005 Oct;131(1):91-9

Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM), Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands.

To study the state and diagnostic value of plasma tissue factor (TF) in patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS), we quantitatively compared plasma TF antigen and TF activity in 90 early-hospitalised patients with chest pain. Using high-affinity antibodies, a sensitive assay for TF antigen was developed with a detection limit of 40 fmol/l. One of the antibodies was used to capture TF from plasma and, after elution and dialysis-free reconstitution in phospholipid-glucoside micelles, absolute amounts of TF activity could be measured with a detection limit of 80 fmol/l. All TF in plasma was found to be exposed, and a value of 2.5(1.1-14.8) pmol/l (median with range) was found for TF antigen. Most of this TF antigen (70-80%) circulated in a (potentially) functional state. Left in its in vivo state, however, TF captured from plasma was totally inactive, probably because of the lack of a procoagulant matrix. Compared with controls with non-cardiac chest pain, TF activity was unchanged and TF antigen about 25% elevated in ACS patients. Combined with the markers prothrombin fragment F1+2 and fatty acid-binding protein, TF did not improve the early diagnosis of ACS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2141.2005.05722.xDOI Listing
October 2005

4-Hydroxy-oxyphenbutazone is a potent inhibitor of cytokine production.

Eur Cytokine Netw 2005 Jun;16(2):144-51

Department of Immunopathology, Sanquin Research at CLB, PO.BOX 9190, 1006 AD Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

4-Hydroxy-oxyphenbutazone (4OH-OPB), is currently in phase II trials for its immunosuppressive effect in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. 4OH-OPB and other compounds related to phenylbutazone were tested for their effect on in vitro cytokine production by monocytes and lymphocytes present in peripheral mononuclear cells (PBMC) or whole blood (WB) cultures, and compared against phenylbutazone and oxyphenbutazone, two known anti-inflammatory drugs. In PBMC cultures, 4OH-OPB was by far the most potent inhibitor, and both monokines and Th1 and Th2 lymphokines were efficiently inhibited at low concentrations. In WB cultures, 4OH-OPB was less effective than in PBMC cultures, but was still the best inhibitor of lymphokine production and, furthermore, was the only inhibitor of monokine production. The increase in 4OH-OPB concentration needed to induce the same inhibition of cytokine production in WB as in PBMC culture could be mimicked by the addition of erythrocytes to the PBMC cultures. Experiments with radioactively-labeled 4OH-OPB suggest that 4OH-OPB is taken up very rapidly into erythrocytes and is secreted by the erythrocytes with much slower kinetics via a multidrug-resistance-associated protein. The secreted compound is most likely structurally different from 4OH-OPB, as in PBMC and WB cultures, the inhibition of cytokine production seems to be caused by a different mechanism. In PBMC cultures, the inhibition of cytokine production is accompanied by a loss of cell viability, while this is not the case when 4OH-OPB inhibits cytokine production in WB. Our data suggest that 4OH-OPB may be useful as an immunosuppressive drug for patients with inflammatory diseases.
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June 2005

Complement activation by apoptotic cells occurs predominantly via IgM and is limited to late apoptotic (secondary necrotic) cells.

Autoimmunity 2004 Mar;37(2):95-102

Department of Immunopathology, Sanquin Research at Sanquin, Plesmanlaan 125, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Apoptotic cells activate complement via various molecular mechanisms. It is not known which of these mechanisms predominate in a physiological environment. Using Jurkat cells as a model, we investigated complement deposition on vital, early and late apoptotic (secondary necrotic) cells in a physiological medium, human plasma, and established the main molecular mechanism involved in this activation. Upon incubation with recalcified plasma, binding of C3 and C4 to early apoptotic cells was similar to background binding on vital cells. In contrast, late apoptotic (secondary necrotic) cells consistently displayed substantial binding of C4 and C3 and low, but detectable, binding of C1q. Binding of C3 and C4 to the apoptotic cells was abolished by EDTA or Mg-EGTA, and also by C1-inhibitor or a monoclonal antibody that inhibits C1q binding, indicating that complement fixation by the apoptotic cells was mainly dependent on the classical pathway. Late apoptotic cells also consistently bound IgM, in which binding significantly correlated with that of C4 and C3. Depletion of plasma for IgM abolished most of the complement fixation by apoptotic cells, which was restored by supplementation with purified IgM. We conclude that complement binding by apoptotic cells in normal human plasma occurs mainly to late apoptotic, secondary necrotic cells, and that the dominant mechanism involves classical pathway activation by IgM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0891693042000196183DOI Listing
March 2004

Elevated nucleosome levels in systemic inflammation and sepsis.

Crit Care Med 2003 Jul;31(7):1947-51

University Hospital, Bern, Switzerland.

Objective: Multiple organ dysfunction syndrome is a frequent complication of severe sepsis and septic shock and has a high mortality. We hypothesized that extensive apoptosis of cells might constitute the cellular basis for this complication.

Design: Retrospective study.

Setting: Medical and surgical wards or intensive care units of two university hospitals.

Patients: Fourteen patients with fever, 15 with systemic inflammatory response syndrome, 32 with severe sepsis, and eight with septic shock.

Interventions: None.

Measurements And Main Results: We assessed circulating levels of nucleosomes, specific markers released by cells during the later stages of apoptosis, with a previously described enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in these 69 patients with fever, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, severe sepsis, or septic shock. Severity of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome was assessed with sepsis scores, and clinical and laboratory variables. Elevated nucleosome levels were found in 64%, 60%, 94%, and 100% of patients with fever, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, severe sepsis, or septic shock, respectively. These levels were significantly higher in patients with septic shock as compared with patients with severe sepsis, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, or fever, and in nonsurvivors as compared with survivors. In patients with advanced multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, nucleosome levels correlated with cytokine plasma levels as well as with variables predictive for outcome.

Conclusions: Patients with severe sepsis and septic shock have elevated plasma levels of nucleosomes. We suggest that apoptosis, probably resulting from exposure of cells to excessive amounts of inflammatory mediators, might by involved in the pathogenesis of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/01.CCM.0000074719.40109.95DOI Listing
July 2003

Mycophenolic acid and methotrexate inhibit lymphocyte cytokine production via different mechanisms.

Eur Cytokine Netw 2002 Jul-Sep;13(3):317-23

Dept. of Immunopathology, CLB and Laboratory for Experimental Clinical Immunology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Mycophenolic acid (MPA) and methotrexate (MTX) are immunosuppressive drugs used for the treatment of various immunological disorders. MPA is an inhibitor of inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase and MTX is a folate antagonist that inhibits tetrahydrofolate reductase. Production of T cell cytokines in whole blood cultures, as well as in PBMC cultures, is inhibited by a low concentration of both drugs. Inhibition of cytokine production after monocyte stimulation was less evident. The mechanism by which inhibition is achieved is different for both drugs. Inhibition of T cell cytokine production by MPA was more profound and started earlier compared to the inhibition by MTX. MTX induced apoptosis in T cells that became activated, whereas MPA prevented activation of T cells by arresting the cell cycle in the G0/G1 phase. Addition of guanosine and adenosine can overcome this cell cycle arrest, even after several days. Furthermore MPA inhibited the expression of activation markers HLA-DR and CD71 on T cells. The observation that MTX cannot prevent T cell activation but induces apoptosis in activated T cells, and that MPA reversibly prevents activation of T cells could explain the immunosuppressive effects of both these drugs.
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March 2003
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