Academic Center Limburg

Sittard, Netherlands

Academic Center Limburg

Sittard, Netherlands
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Rolf L.,Maastricht University | Rolf L.,Academic Center Limburg | Muris A.-H.,Maastricht University | Muris A.-H.,Academic Center Limburg | And 3 more authors.
Immunology | Year: 2016

Vitamin D is associated with many immune-mediated disorders. In multiple sclerosis (MS) a poor vitamin D status is a major environmental factor associated with disease incidence and severity. The inflammation in MS is primarily T-cell-mediated, but increasing evidence points to an important role for B cells. This has paved the way for investigating vitamin D effects on B cells. In this review we elaborate on vitamin D interactions with antibody production, T-cell-stimulating capacity and regulatory B cells. Although in vitro plasma cell generation and expression of co-stimulatory molecules are inhibited and the function of regulatory B cells is promoted, this is not supported by in vivo data. We speculate that differences might be explained by the B-cell-Epstein-Barr virus interaction in MS, the exquisite role of germinal centres in B-cell biology, and/or in vivo interactions with other hormones and vitamins that interfere with the vitamin D pathways. Further research is warranted to illuminate this tube-versus-body paradox. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Smolders J.,Maastricht University | Smolders J.,Academic Center Limburg | Peelen E.,Maastricht University | Peelen E.,Academic Center Limburg | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Background: A poor vitamin D status has been associated with a high disease activity of multiple sclerosis (MS). Recently, we described associations between vitamin D status and peripheral T cell characteristics in relapsing remitting MS (RRMS) patients. In the present study, we studied the effects of high dose vitamin D3 supplementation on safety and T cell related outcome measures. Methodology/Principal Findings: Fifteen RRMS patients were supplemented with 20 000 IU/d vitamin D3 for 12 weeks. Vitamin D and calcium metabolism were carefully monitored, and T cell characteristics were studied by flowcytometry. All patients finished the protocol without side-effects, hypercalcaemia, or hypercalciuria. The median vitamin D status increased from 50 nmol/L (31-175) at week 0 to 380 nmol/L (151-535) at week 12 (P<0.001). During the study, 1 patient experienced an exacerbation of MS and was censored from the T cell analysis. The proportions of (naïve and memory) CD4+ Tregs remained unaffected. Although Treg suppressive function improved in several subjects, this effect was not significant in the total cohort (P = 0.143). An increased proportion of IL-10+ CD4+ T cells was found after supplementation (P = 0.021). Additionally, a decrease of the ratio between IFN-γ + and IL-4+ CD4+ T cells was observed (P = 0.035). Conclusion/Significance: Twelve week supplementation of high dose vitamin D3 in RRMS patients was well tolerated and did not induce decompensation of calcium metabolism. The skewing towards an anti-inflammatory cytokine profile supports the evidence on vitamin D as an immune-modulator, and may be used as outcome measure for upcoming randomized placebo-controlled trials. © 2010 Smolders et al.


Peelen E.,Maastricht University | Peelen E.,Academic Center Limburg | Damoiseaux J.,Maastricht University | Muris A.-H.,Maastricht University | And 7 more authors.
Molecular Immunology | Year: 2015

The NLRP3 inflammasome is a macromolecular complex importantly involved in IL-1β processing. A role for this has been described in multiple sclerosis (MS). One mechanism by which IL-1β might be involved in MS is by inducing pathogenic Th17 cells, i.e. GM-CSF+ Th17 cells. In the present study, we show that expression of the inflammasome related genes, NLRP3, caspase-1, IL-1β and the IL-1β/IL-1Ra ratio, was increased in PBMC from MS patients compared to healthy controls (HC). However, in an in vitro inflammasome activity assay with PBMC, IL-1β protein secretion and the IL-1β/IL-1Ra protein ratio were similar in MS patients and HC. Th cells cultured in the presence of supernatant derived from LPS/ATP inflammasome activated PBMC showed increased Th17 and GM-CSF+ Th17 cell frequencies in HC and MS patients and decreased anti-inflammatory IL-10+Th cell frequency in HC compared to Th cells cultured in the presence of control supernatant. Moreover, addition of the immune modulator calcitriol to the former condition resulted in reduced frequencies of Th17 and GM-CSF+Th17 cells, and also of IL-10+ Th cells. Evidently, our data indicate that inflammasome activity can skew the Th cell population toward a more pro-inflammatory composition, an effect that might be inhibited by vitamin D, and that might be importantly involved in inflammation within the central nervous system. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Smolders J.,Maastricht University | Smolders J.,Academic Center Limburg
Autoimmune Diseases | Year: 2011

The last years, many studies reported associations between correlates of vitamin D exposure and several correlates of multiple sclerosis (MS) disease activity. This review discusses studies on vitamin D status, Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score, and relapse activity of MS. Furthermore, several considerations for intervention studies on vitamin D supplementation in MS are provided. Copyright © 2011 Joost Smolders.


Knippenberg S.,Maastricht University | Knippenberg S.,Academic Center Limburg | Peelen E.,Maastricht University | Peelen E.,Academic Center Limburg | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Neuroimmunology | Year: 2011

In this study, we assessed B cell subsets, including Bregs, during stable and active disease in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients and related B cell subsets to vitamin D status. We report that RRMS patients have a decreased percentage of both memory B cells and Bregs compared to healthy controls. During a relapse, the reduction in Bregs involved in particular naïve Bregs. We found no correlation between vitamin D status and B cell subsets. An effect of vitamin D on Bregs cannot be ruled out, since it might be the function that is interfered with instead of relative numbers. © 2011.


Knippenberg S.,Maastricht University | Knippenberg S.,Academic Center Limburg | Smolders J.,Maastricht University | Smolders J.,Academic Center Limburg | And 7 more authors.
Multiple Sclerosis Journal | Year: 2011

Background: Vitamin D has been proposed as a promoter of immune homeostasis in multiple sclerosis (MS). During the past decade, the focus of the effects of vitamin D has been on dendritic cells and on T cells. Since there is an increasing interest in the role of B cells in the pathophysiology of MS, we studied the role of vitamin D on B cells in vivo in patients with MS.Objective: We explored the effects of 12 weeks high-dose vitamin D3 supplementation on peripheral B cell differentiation, immunoglobulin production and levels of B cell activating factor (BAFF) in 15 patients with MS.Methods: Circulating B cell subsets were characterized by flow cytometry. Plasma immunoglobulin levels were assessed by nephelometry. Plasma BAFF levels were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).Results: Although a significant increase serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D was induced, we found no significant shift in B cell differentiation, isotype switching, or plasma BAFF levels.Conclusion: In patients with MS, supplementation of high doses vitamin D3 does not have substantial effects on phenotypic markers of B cell differentiation in circulating B cells. Future studies may unravel more subtle changes in the B cell compartment, either in the circulation or in the central nervous system. © SAGE Publications 2011.


Rolf L.,Maastricht University | Rolf L.,Academic Center Limburg | Muris A.-H.,Maastricht University | Muris A.-H.,Academic Center Limburg | And 3 more authors.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences | Year: 2014

Vitamin D seems to be implicated in the pathophysiology of autoimmune disorders as a natural immune modulator. Beneficial effects of vitamin D have been associated with different cells of the immune system; however, thus far, B cells seem to be somewhat neglected. In this paper, we describe the possible direct effects of vitamin D on B cells, with a focus on antibody production and the more recently identified regulatory B (Breg) cells. B cells upregulate the vitamin D receptor (VDR) upon activation. Furthermore, due to regulated expression of the metabolizing enzymes CYP27B1 and CYP24A1, B cells have the potential to control the local availability of active vitamin D. B cells, therefore, may participate in vitamin D-mediated immune homeostasis, including plasma cell generation. Whether or not other B cell subsets, such as Breg cells, are equally responsive to vitamin D remains to be established. © 2014 New York Academy of Sciences.


Smolders J.,Group 47 | Smolders J.,Maastricht University | Peelen E.,Maastricht University | Peelen E.,transnational University of Limburg | And 5 more authors.
Multiple Sclerosis Journal | Year: 2014

Background: A low vitamin D status has been associated with multiple sclerosis (MS). Most circulating vitamin D metabolites are bound to vitamin D binding protein (DBP). Objectives: The purpose of this study was to explore whether there is an association between MS and DBP. Methods: We compared DBP concentrations in blood samples of controls (n = 30) and subjects with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) during remission (n = 29) and relapse (n = 15). Furthermore, we explored correlations of DBP with 25- hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D levels (1,25(OH)2D), and the effect of high-dose vitamin D3 supplementation on DBP levels in RRMS patients (n = 15). Results: DBP-concentration did not differ between the sub-groups measured, and there was no correlation between DBP and vitamin D metabolite concentration within the physiological range. Upon supplementation of high doses vitamin D3, DBP concentration remained unaltered. After supplementation, serum 1,25(OH)2D(R = 0.517, p = 0.049), but not 25(OH)D, correlated positively with DBP. Conclusions: We found no association between DBP, MS, and vitamin D status within the physiological range. After high - dose vitamin D supplementation, DBP concentrations may be relevant for vitamin D metabolism. © The Author(s) 2013.


Peelen E.,Maastricht University | Peelen E.,Academic Center Limburg | Knippenberg S.,Maastricht University | Knippenberg S.,Academic Center Limburg | And 9 more authors.
Autoimmunity Reviews | Year: 2011

Epidemiological studies have shown that a poor vitamin D status is associated with an increased risk of several diseases, including autoimmune diseases. The immune regulatory function of vitamin D is thought to have an important role in these associations. Cells of the adaptive immune system have shown to be direct targets of the vitamin D metabolites. Besides being direct targets, cells of the adaptive immune system express the enzymes involved in the metabolism of vitamin D, enabling them to locally convert 25(OH)D into its active metabolite 1,25(OH) 2D. In this review, the effects of vitamin D on cells of the adaptive immune system are described. Experimental data in vitro show that vitamin D skews cells of the adaptive immune system toward a more tolerogenic status which might be exploited in the treatment of autoimmune diseases. However, it should be noticed that in vivo effects may differ from in vitro effects due to the cross-talk between different vitamin D sensitive cells, but data support the view that vitamin D is positively involved in maintaining or restoring immune homeostasis. Upcoming vitamin D supplementation trials will further elucidate the in vivo effects of vitamin D on the immune system and its potency to serve as an immune regulating agent in autoimmune diseases. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


PubMed | Academic Center Limburg and Maastricht University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2016

The risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) as well as MS disease activity is associated with vitamin D (25(OH)D) status. The relationship between the main functional disability hallmark of MS, disability progression, and 25(OH)D status is less well established though, especially not in MS patients with progressive disease.This retrospective follow-up study included 554 MS patients with a serum baseline 25(OH)D level and Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) with a minimum follow-up of three years. Logistic regressions were performed to assess the effect of baseline 25(OH)D status on relapse rate. Repeated measures linear regression analyses were performed to assess the effect on disability and disability progression.Baseline deseasonalized 25(OH)D status was associated with subsequent relapse risk (yes/no), but only in the younger MS patients ( 37.5 years; OR = 0.872, per 10 nmol/L 25(OH)D, p = 0.041). Baseline 25(OH)D status was not significantly associated with either disability or disability progression, irrespective of MS phenotype.Within the physiological range, 25(OH)D status is just significantly associated with the occurrence of relapses in younger MS patients, but is not associated with disability or disability progression over three years follow-up. Whether high dose supplementation to supra physiological 25(OH)D levels prevents disability progression in MS should become clear from long term follow-up of supplementation studies.

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