Publications by authors named "Rianne Scholman"

13 Publications

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Human Tregs at the materno-fetal interface show site-specific adaptation reminiscent of tumor Tregs.

JCI Insight 2020 09 17;5(18). Epub 2020 Sep 17.

Center for Translational Immunology.

Tregs are crucial for maintaining maternal immunotolerance against the semiallogeneic fetus. We investigated the elusive transcriptional profile and functional adaptation of human uterine Tregs (uTregs) during pregnancy. Uterine biopsies, from placental bed (materno-fetal interface) and incision site (control) and blood were obtained from women with uncomplicated pregnancies undergoing cesarean section. Tregs and CD4+ non-Tregs were isolated for transcriptomic profiling by Cel-Seq2. Results were validated on protein and single cell levels by flow cytometry. Placental bed uTregs showed elevated expression of Treg signature markers, including FOXP3, CTLA-4, and TIGIT. Their transcriptional profile was indicative of late-stage effector Treg differentiation and chronic activation, with increased expression of immune checkpoints GITR, TNFR2, OX-40, and 4-1BB; genes associated with suppressive capacity (HAVCR2, IL10, LAYN, and PDCD1); and transcription factors MAF, PRDM1, BATF, and VDR. uTregs mirrored non-Treg Th1 polarization and tissue residency. The particular transcriptional signature of placental bed uTregs overlapped strongly with that of tumor-infiltrating Tregs and was remarkably pronounced at the placental bed compared with uterine control site. In conclusion, human uTregs acquire a differentiated effector Treg profile similar to tumor-infiltrating Tregs, specifically at the materno-fetal interface. This introduces the concept of site-specific transcriptional adaptation of Tregs within 1 organ.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.137926DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7526557PMC
September 2020

Reversal of Sepsis-Like Features of Neutrophils by Interleukin-1 Blockade in Patients With Systemic-Onset Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis.

Arthritis Rheumatol 2018 06 7;70(6):943-956. Epub 2018 May 7.

University Medical Center Utrecht, Wilhelmina Children's Hospital and Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Objective: Neutrophils are the most abundant innate immune cells in the blood, but little is known about their role in (acquired) chronic autoinflammatory diseases. This study was undertaken to investigate the role of neutrophils in systemic-onset juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), a prototypical multifactorial autoinflammatory disease that is characterized by arthritis and severe systemic inflammation.

Methods: Fifty patients with systemic-onset JIA who were receiving treatment with recombinant interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (rIL-1Ra; anakinra) were analyzed at disease onset and during remission. RNA sequencing was performed on fluorescence-activated cell-sorted neutrophils from 3 patients with active systemic-onset JIA and 3 healthy controls. Expression of activation markers, apoptosis, production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and degranulation of secretory vesicles from neutrophils were assessed by flow cytometry in serum samples from 17 patients with systemic-onset JIA and 15 healthy controls.

Results: Neutrophil counts were markedly increased at disease onset, and this correlated with the levels of inflammatory mediators. The neutrophil counts normalized within days after the initiation of rIL-1Ra therapy. RNA-sequencing analysis revealed a substantial up-regulation of inflammatory processes in neutrophils from patients with active systemic-onset JIA, significantly overlapping with the transcriptome of sepsis. Correspondingly, neutrophils from patients with active systemic-onset JIA displayed a primed phenotype that was characterized by increased ROS production, CD62L shedding, and secretory vesicle degranulation, which was reversed by rIL-1Ra treatment in patients who had achieved clinical remission. Patients with a short disease duration had high neutrophil counts, more immature neutrophils, and a complete response to rIL-1Ra, whereas patients with symptoms for >1 month had normal neutrophil counts and an unsatisfactory response to rIL-1Ra. In vitro, rIL-1Ra antagonized the priming effect of IL-1β on neutrophils from healthy subjects.

Conclusion: These results strongly support the notion that neutrophils play an important role in systemic-onset JIA, especially in the early inflammatory phase of the disease. The findings also demonstrate that neutrophil numbers and the inflammatory activity of systemic-onset JIA are both susceptible to IL-1 blockade.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.40442DOI Listing
June 2018

Effect of anticoagulants on 162 circulating immune related proteins in healthy subjects.

Cytokine 2018 06 28;106:114-124. Epub 2017 Oct 28.

Department of Pediatric Immunology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands; Multiplex Core Facility, Laboratory of Translational Immunology, University Medical center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

Diagnosis of complex disease and response to treatment is often associated with multiple indicators, both clinical and laboratorial. With the use of biomarkers, various mechanisms have been unraveled which can lead to better and faster diagnosis, predicting and monitoring of response to treatment and new drug development. With the introduction of multiplex technology for immunoassays and the growing awareness of the role of immune-monitoring during new therapeutic interventions it is now possible to test large numbers of soluble mediators in small sample volumes. However, standardization of sample collection and laboratory assessments remains suboptimal. We developed a multiplex immunoassay for detection of 162 immune related proteins in human serum and plasma. The assay was split in panels depending on natural occurring concentrations with a maximum of 60 proteins. The aim of this study was to evaluate precision, accuracy, reproducibility and stability of proteins when repeated freeze-thaw cycles are performed of this in-house developed panel, as well as assessing the protein signature in plasma and serum using various anticoagulants. Intra-assay variance of each mediator was <10%. Inter-assay variance ranged between 1.6 and 37% with an average of 12.2%. Recoveries were similar for all mediators (mean 99.8 ± 2.6%) with a range between 89-107%. Next we measured all mediators in serum, EDTA plasma and sodium heparin plasma of 43 healthy control donors. Of these markers only 19 showed similar expression profiles in the 3 different matrixes. Only 5 mediators were effected by multiple freeze-thawing cycles. Principal component analysis revealed different coagulants cluster separately and that sodium heparin shows the most consistent profile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cyto.2017.10.021DOI Listing
June 2018

Differential adipokine receptor expression on circulating leukocyte subsets in lean and obese children.

PLoS One 2017 26;12(10):e0187068. Epub 2017 Oct 26.

Laboratory for Translational Immunology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Background: Childhood obesity prevalence has increased worldwide and is an important risk factor for type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). The production of inflammatory adipokines by obese adipose tissue contributes to the development of T2D and CVD. While levels of circulating adipokines such as adiponectin and leptin have been established in obese children and adults, the expression of adiponectin and leptin receptors on circulating immune cells can modulate adipokine signalling, but has not been studied so far. Here, we aim to establish the expression of adiponectin and leptin receptors on circulating immune cells in obese children pre and post-lifestyle intervention compared to normal weight control children.

Methods: 13 obese children before and after a 1-year lifestyle intervention were compared with an age and sex-matched normal weight control group of 15 children. Next to routine clinical and biochemical parameters, circulating adipokines were measured, and flow cytometric analysis of adiponectin receptor 1 and 2 (AdipoR1, AdipoR2) and leptin receptor expression on peripheral blood mononuclear cell subsets was performed.

Results: Obese children exhibited typical clinical and biochemical characteristics compared to controls, including a higher BMI-SD, blood pressure and circulating leptin levels, combined with a lower insulin sensitivity index (QUICKI). The 1-year lifestyle intervention resulted in stabilization of their BMI-SD. Overall, circulating leukocyte subsets showed distinct adipokine receptor expression profiles. While monocytes expressed high levels of all adipokine receptors, NK and iNKT cells predominantly expressed AdipoR2, and B-lymphocytes and CD4+ and CD8+ T-lymphocyte subsets expressed AdipoR2 as well as leptin receptor. Strikingly though, leukocyte subset numbers and adipokine receptor expression profiles were largely similar in obese children and controls. Obese children showed higher naïve B-cell numbers, and pre-intervention also higher numbers of immature transition B-cells and intermediate CD14++CD16+ monocytes combined with lower total monocyte numbers, compared to controls. Furthermore, adiponectin receptor 1 expression on nonclassical CD14+CD16++ monocytes was consistently upregulated in obese children pre-intervention, compared to controls. However, none of the differences in leukocyte subset numbers and adipokine receptor expression profiles between obese children and controls remained significant after multiple testing correction.

Conclusions: First, the distinct adipokine receptor profiles of circulating leukocyte subsets may partly explain the differential impact of adipokines on leukocyte subsets. Second, the similarities in adipokine receptor expression profiles between obese children and normal weight controls suggest that adipokine signaling in childhood obesity is primarily modulated by circulating adipokine levels, instead of adipokine receptor expression.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0187068PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5658151PMC
November 2017

Self-Sustained Resistance to Suppression of CD8+ Teff Cells at the Site of Autoimmune Inflammation Can Be Reversed by Tumor Necrosis Factor and Interferon-γ Blockade.

Arthritis Rheumatol 2016 Jan;68(1):229-36

University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Objective: Resistance of Teff cells to Treg cell-mediated suppression contributes to the breakdown of peripheral tolerance in the inflamed joints of patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). However, unanswered questions are whether this resistant phenotype is self-sustained and whether CD8+ and CD4+ Teff cells share the same mechanism of resistance to suppression. We undertook this study to investigate intrinsic resistance of CD8+ Teff cells to suppression and to determine how this can be targeted therapeutically.

Methods: CD8+ or CD4+ Teff cells were cultured with or without antigen-presenting cells (APCs) in Treg cell-dependent and -independent suppression assays. Synovial fluid (SF)-derived Teff cells were crosscultured with peripheral blood (PB) Treg cells from JIA patients or healthy controls. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) or interferon-γ (IFNγ) blocking agents were used to restore Teff cell responsiveness to suppression.

Results: Suppression of cell proliferation and cytokine production in CD8+ Teff cells from the SF of JIA patients was severely impaired compared to that in CD8+ Teff cells from the PB of JIA patients, regardless of the presence of APCs and CD4+ Teff cells. Similar to CD4+ Teff cells, impaired suppression of CD8+ Teff cells was shown to be an intrinsic feature of this cell population. While TNF blockade restored both CD8+ and CD4+ Teff cell susceptibility to suppression, autocrine release of IFNγ selectively sustained CD8+ Teff cell resistance, which could be relieved by IFNγ blockade.

Conclusion: Unlike CD4+ Teff cells, resistance of CD8+ Teff cells to suppression at the site of autoimmune inflammation is maintained by autocrine release of IFNγ, and blockade of IFNγ restores CD8+ Teff cell responsiveness to suppression. These findings indicate a potential therapeutic value of blocking IFNγ to restore immune regulation in JIA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.39418DOI Listing
January 2016

A novel human STAT3 mutation presents with autoimmunity involving Th17 hyperactivation.

Oncotarget 2015 Aug;6(24):20037-42

Paediatric Immunology, Laboratory of Translational Immunology LTI, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Mutations in STAT3 have recently been shown to cause autoimmune diseases through increased lymphoproliferation. We describe a novel Pro471Arg STAT3 mutation in a patient with multiple autoimmune diseases, causing hyperactivation of the Th17 pathway. We show that IL-17 production by primary T cells was enhanced and could not be further increased by IL-6, while IL-10 reduced Th17 cell numbers. Moreover, specific inhibition of STAT3 activation resulted in diminished IL-17 production. We show that the Pro471Arg STAT3 mutation yields both increased levels of IgA and IgG, probably due to high IL-21 levels. When remission was reached through medical intervention, IL-17 levels normalized and the clinical symptoms improved, supporting the idea that STAT3 gain-of-function mutations can cause hyperactivation of the Th17 pathway and thereby contribute to autoimmunity.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4652985PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.5042DOI Listing
August 2015

Methotrexate treatment affects effector but not regulatory T cells in juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

Rheumatology (Oxford) 2015 Sep 14;54(9):1724-34. Epub 2015 Apr 14.

Center for Molecular and Cellular Intervention, Department of Pediatric Immunology, Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Objective: The balance between Treg and effector T cells (Teff) is crucial for immune regulation in JIA. How MTX, the cornerstone treatment in JIA, influences this balance in vivo is poorly elucidated. The aim of this study was to investigate quantitative and qualitative effects of MTX on Treg and Teff in JIA patients during MTX treatment.

Methods: Peripheral blood samples were obtained from JIA patients at the start of MTX and 3 and 6 months thereafter. Treg numbers and phenotypes were determined by flow cytometry and suppressive function in allogeneic suppression assays. Teff proliferation upon stimulation with anti-CD3, activation status and intracellular cytokine production were determined by flow cytometry. Effector cell responsiveness to suppression was investigated in autologous suppression assays. Effector cell cytokines in supernatants of proliferation and suppression assays and in plasma were measured by cytokine multiplex assay.

Results: MTX treatment in JIA did not affect Treg phenotype and function. Instead, MTX treatment enhanced, rather than diminished, CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell proliferation of JIA patients after 6 months of therapy, independent of clinical response. Effector cells during MTX treatment were equally responsive to Treg-mediated suppression. MTX treatment did not attenuate Teff activation status and their capacity to produce IL-13, IL-17, TNF-α and IFN-γ. Similarly to Teff proliferation, plasma IFN-γ concentrations after 6 months were increased.

Conclusion: This study provides the novel insight that MTX treatment in JIA does not attenuate Teff function but, conversely, enhances T cell proliferation and IFN-γ plasma concentrations in JIA patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/kev101DOI Listing
September 2015

Cytokine profiling at disease onset: support for classification of young antinuclear antibody-positive patients as a separate category of juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

Ann Rheum Dis 2015 Feb 10;74(2):470-2. Epub 2014 Nov 10.

Laboratory of Translational Immunology, Department of Pediatric Immunology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2014-206424DOI Listing
February 2015

A novel FcγRIIa Q27W gene variant is associated with common variable immune deficiency through defective FcγRIIa downstream signaling.

Clin Immunol 2014 Nov 19;155(1):108-117. Epub 2014 Sep 19.

Laboratory of Translational Immunology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, Utrecht, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

We identified a novel Q27W FcγRIIa variant that was found more frequently in common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) or CVID-like children. We analyzed the possible functional consequence of the Q27W FcγRIIa mutation in human cells. We used peripheral blood mononuclear cells from Q27W FcγRIIa patients and healthy controls, and cultured cells that overexpress the Q27W and common FcγRIIa variants. The Q27W FcγRIIa mutation does not disrupt FcγRIIa surface expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Mononuclear cells express multiple FcγR, precluding careful analysis of Q27W FcγRIIa functional deviation. For functional analysis of FcγRIIa function, we therefore overexpressed the Q27W FcγRIIa and common FcγRIIa variant in IIA1.6 cells that are normally deficient in FcγR. We show that FcγRIIa triggering-induced signaling is obstructed, as measured by both decrease in calcium flux and defective MAPK phosphorylation. In conclusion, we here describe a novel Q27W FcγRIIa variant that causes delayed downstream signaling. This variant may contribute to CVID.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clim.2014.09.006DOI Listing
November 2014

Increased presence of FOXP3+ regulatory T cells in inflamed muscle of patients with active juvenile dermatomyositis compared to peripheral blood.

PLoS One 2014 26;9(8):e105353. Epub 2014 Aug 26.

Laboratory of Translational Immunology, Pediatric Immunology, Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM) is an immune-mediated inflammatory disease affecting the microvasculature of skin and muscle. CD4+ CD25+ FOXP3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) are key regulators of immune homeostasis. A role for Tregs in JDM pathogenesis has not yet been established. Here, we explored Treg presence and function in peripheral blood and muscle of JDM patients. We analyzed number, phenotype and function of Tregs in blood from JDM patients by flow cytometry and in vitro suppression assays, in comparison to healthy controls and disease controls (Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy). Presence of Tregs in muscle was analyzed by immunohistochemistry. Overall, Treg percentages in peripheral blood of JDM patients were similar compared to both control groups. Muscle biopsies of new onset JDM patients showed increased infiltration of numbers of T cells compared to Duchenne's muscular dystrophy. Both in JDM and Duchenne's muscular dystrophy the proportion of FOXP3+ T cells in muscles were increased compared to JDM peripheral blood. Interestingly, JDM is not a self-remitting disease, suggesting that the high proportion of Tregs in inflamed muscle do not suppress inflammation. In line with this, peripheral blood Tregs of active JDM patients were less capable of suppressing effector T cell activation in vitro, compared to Tregs of JDM in clinical remission. These data show a functional impairment of Tregs in a proportion of patients with active disease, and suggest a regulatory role for Tregs in JDM inflammation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0105353PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4144849PMC
May 2015

T cell recognition of naturally presented epitopes of self-heat shock protein 70.

Cell Stress Chaperones 2014 Jul 15;19(4):569-78. Epub 2014 Jan 15.

Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Self-reactive T cells have shown to have a potential role as regulators of the immune system preventing or even suppressing autoimmunity. One of the most abundant proteins that can be eluted from human HLA molecules is heat shock protein 70 (HSP70). The aims of the current study are to identify HSP70 epitopes based on published HLA elution studies and to investigate whether T cells from healthy individuals may respond to such self-epitopes. A literature search and subsequent in silico binding prediction based on theoretical MHC binding motifs resulted in the identification of seven HSP70 epitopes. PBMCs of healthy controls proliferated after incubation with two of the seven peptides (H167 and H290). Furthermore H161, H290, and H443 induced CD69 expression or production of cytokines IFNγ or TNFα in healthy controls. The identification of these naturally presented epitopes and the response they elicit in the normal immune system make them potential candidates to study during inflammatory conditions as well as in autoimmune diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12192-013-0484-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4041940PMC
July 2014

T lymphocyte-dependent and -independent regulation of Cxcl8 expression in zebrafish intestines.

J Immunol 2014 Jan 25;192(1):484-91. Epub 2013 Nov 25.

Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Laboratory of Translational Immunology, Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, University Medical Centre, 3584 EA Utrecht, The Netherlands;

CXCL8 is a potent neutrophil recruiting chemokine. CXCL8 is produced by several innate immune cells, including neutrophils, macrophages, as well as epithelial cells. Although previously considered only to be produced as a result of TLR signaling in these cells, recent reports show that T cell-derived cytokines also induce CXCL8 in epithelial cells. Likewise, we observed that T cell inhibition diminished intestinal production of functional mouse homologs of CXCL8 in the early phase of enterocolitis. In this study, we specifically investigated whether adaptive cells contribute to innate cxcl8 expression in the intestines. To this end, we used the zebrafish as our model system. Unlike murine models that lack CXCL8, zebrafish have two CXCL8 chemokines that are both elevated after an acute inflammatory stimulus and recruit neutrophils. Furthermore, zebrafish develop innate and adaptive immunity sequentially, enabling analysis of intestinal cxcl8 expression in the absence (<3 wk of age) and presence (>3 wk of age) of adaptive immunity. In this study, we show that intestinal cxcl8-l1 but not cxcl8-l2 expression is regulated by T lymphocytes under homeostatic conditions. In contrast, during intestinal inflammation especially, cxcl8-l1 expression is upregulated independent of T lymphocyte presence. Furthermore, we show that human CXCL8 is able to induce intestinal zebrafish neutrophil recruitment and cxcl8-l1 expression, demonstrating that zebrafish can be used as a model to study CXCL8 function and regulation. In conclusion, these data provide evidence that Cxcl8-l1 and Cxcl8-l2 are differentially regulated via T lymphocyte-dependent and -independent mechanisms during homeostasis and inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.1301865DOI Listing
January 2014

Defective TH17 development in human neonatal T cells involves reduced RORC2 mRNA content.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2013 Sep 29;132(3):754-756.e3. Epub 2013 May 29.

Department of Pediatric Immunology, Center for Molecular and Cellular Intervention CMCI, Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2013.04.014DOI Listing
September 2013