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Paulus W.J.,VU University Amsterdam | Tschope C.,Franklin University
Journal of the American College of Cardiology | Year: 2013

Over the past decade, myocardial structure, cardiomyocyte function, and intramyocardial signaling were shown to be specifically altered in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFPEF). A new paradigm for HFPEF development is therefore proposed, which identifies a systemic proinflammatory state induced by comorbidities as the cause of myocardial structural and functional alterations. The new paradigm presumes the following sequence of events in HFPEF: 1) a high prevalence of comorbidities such as overweight/obesity, diabetes mellitus, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and salt-sensitive hypertension induce a systemic proinflammatory state; 2) a systemic proinflammatory state causes coronary microvascular endothelial inflammation; 3) coronary microvascular endothelial inflammation reduces nitric oxide bioavailability, cyclic guanosine monophosphate content, and protein kinase G (PKG) activity in adjacent cardiomyocytes; 4) low PKG activity favors hypertrophy development and increases resting tension because of hypophosphorylation of titin; and 5) both stiff cardiomyocytes and interstitial fibrosis contribute to high diastolic left ventricular (LV) stiffness and heart failure development. The new HFPEF paradigm shifts emphasis from LV afterload excess to coronary microvascular inflammation. This shift is supported by a favorable Laplace relationship in concentric LV hypertrophy and by all cardiac chambers showing similar remodeling and dysfunction. Myocardial remodeling in HFPEF differs from heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, in which remodeling is driven by loss of cardiomyocytes. The new HFPEF paradigm proposes comorbidities, plasma markers of inflammation, or vascular hyperemic responses to be included in diagnostic algorithms and aims at restoring myocardial PKG activity. © 2013 by the American College of Cardiology Foundation.


The positron emitter zirconium-89 ((89)Zr) has very attractive properties for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of intact monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) using immuno-PET. This protocol describes the step-by-step procedure for the facile radiolabeling of mAbs or other proteins with (89)Zr using p-isothiocyanatobenzyl-desferrioxamine (Df-Bz-NCS). First, Df-Bz-NCS is coupled to the lysine-NH(2) groups of a mAb at pH 9.0 (pre-modification), followed by purification using gel filtration. Next, the pre-modified mAb is labeled at room temperature by the addition of [(89)Zr]Zr-oxalic acid solution followed by purification using gel filtration. The entire process of pre-modification, radiolabeling and purification steps will take about 2.5 h.


Wurdinger T.,VU University Amsterdam
Journal of the National Cancer Institute | Year: 2013

Background Glioblastomas exhibit a high level of chemotherapeutic resistance, including to the antimitotic agents vincristine and taxol. During the mitotic agent-induced arrest, glioblastoma cells are able to perform damage-control and self-repair to continue proliferation. Monopolar spindle 1 (MPS1/TTK) is a checkpoint kinase and a gatekeeper of the mitotic arrest. Methods We used glioblastoma cells to determine the expression of MPS1 and to determine the effects of MPS1 inhibition on mitotic errors and cell viability in combination with vincristine and taxol. The effect of MPS1 inhibition was assessed in different orthotopic glioblastoma mouse models (n = 3-7 mice/group). MPS1 expression levels were examined in relation to patient survival. Results Using publicly available gene expression data, we determined that MPS1 overexpression corresponds positively with tumor grade and negatively with patient survival (two-sided t test, P < .001). Patients with high MPS1 expression (n = 203) had a median and mean survival of 487 and 913 days (95% confidence intervals [CI] = 751 to 1075), respectively, and a 2-year survival rate of 35%, whereas patients with intermediate MPS1 expression (n = 140) had a median and mean survival of 858 and 1183 days (95% CI = 1177 to 1189), respectively, and a 2-year survival rate of 56%. We demonstrate that MPS1 inhibition by RNAi results in sensitization to antimitotic agents. We developed a selective small-molecule inhibitor of MPS1, MPS1-IN-3, which caused mitotic aberrancies in glioblastoma cells and, in combination with vincristine, induced mitotic checkpoint override, increased aneuploidy, and augmented cell death. MPS1-IN-3 sensitizes glioblastoma cells to vincristine in orthotopic mouse models (two-sided log-rank test, P < .01), resulting in prolonged survival without toxicity. Conclusions Our results collectively demonstrate that MPS1, a putative therapeutic target in glioblastoma, can be selectively inhibited by MPS1-IN-3 sensitizing glioblastoma cells to antimitotic drugs. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


Roozendaal R.,VU University Amsterdam | Mebius R.E.,VU University Amsterdam
Annual Review of Immunology | Year: 2011

Interaction between different types of hematopoietic cells is essential for proper functioning of the immune system. For instance, the cytokines produced by antigen-presenting dendritic cells will determine the type of T cell response that is induced. However, hematopoietic cells are also strongly influenced by the surrounding nonhematopoietic cells. The cells that form these microenvironments are collectively called stromal cells. Here, we focus on the stromal cells present within secondary lymphoid organs and discuss their importance for various aspects of the immune system. © 2011 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


The pattern of structural brain alterations associated with major depressive disorder (MDD) remains unresolved. This is in part due to small sample sizes of neuroimaging studies resulting in limited statistical power, disease heterogeneity and the complex interactions between clinical characteristics and brain morphology. To address this, we meta-analyzed three-dimensional brain magnetic resonance imaging data from 1728 MDD patients and 7199 controls from 15 research samples worldwide, to identify subcortical brain volumes that robustly discriminate MDD patients from healthy controls. Relative to controls, patients had significantly lower hippocampal volumes (Cohen’s d=−0.14, % difference=−1.24). This effect was driven by patients with recurrent MDD (Cohen’s d=−0.17, % difference=−1.44), and we detected no differences between first episode patients and controls. Age of onset ⩽21 was associated with a smaller hippocampus (Cohen’s d=−0.20, % difference=−1.85) and a trend toward smaller amygdala (Cohen’s d=−0.11, % difference=−1.23) and larger lateral ventricles (Cohen’s d=0.12, % difference=5.11). Symptom severity at study inclusion was not associated with any regional brain volumes. Sample characteristics such as mean age, proportion of antidepressant users and proportion of remitted patients, and methodological characteristics did not significantly moderate alterations in brain volumes in MDD. Samples with a higher proportion of antipsychotic medication users showed larger caudate volumes in MDD patients compared with controls. This currently largest worldwide effort to identify subcortical brain alterations showed robust smaller hippocampal volumes in MDD patients, moderated by age of onset and first episode versus recurrent episode status.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 30 June 2015; doi:10.1038/mp.2015.69. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited


Bouwer L.M.,VU University Amsterdam
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society | Year: 2011

A number of studies were conducted to demonstrate the best way to assess the potential influence of climate change on disaster losses was to analyze future projections in place of historical data. These studies showed that increases in exposure and wealth were the most important drivers for growing disaster losses. Most of these studies also showed that disaster losses remained constant after normalization, including losses from earthquakes They found that increases after normalization did not fully correct for wealth and population increases, or they identified other sources of exposure increases or vulnerability changes or changing environmental conditions. The analysis of these disaster loss studies showed that economic losses from various weather-related natural hazards, such as storms, tropical cyclones, floods, and small-scale weather events had increased around the globe.


Stam C.J.,VU University Amsterdam
Nature Reviews Neuroscience | Year: 2014

Modern network science has revealed fundamental aspects of normal brain-network organization, such as small-world and scale-free patterns, hierarchical modularity, hubs and rich clubs. The next challenge is to use this knowledge to gain a better understanding of brain disease. Recent developments in the application of network science to conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury and epilepsy have challenged the classical concept of neurological disorders being either 'local' or 'global', and have pointed to the overload and failure of hubs as a possible final common pathway in neurological disorders. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Romero E.,VU University Amsterdam
Nature Physics | Year: 2014

The crucial step in the conversion of solar to chemical energy in photosynthesis takes place in the reaction centre, where the absorbed excitation energy is converted into a stable charge-separated state by ultrafast electron transfer events. However, the fundamental mechanism responsible for the near-unity quantum efficiency of this process is unknown. Here we elucidate the role of coherence in determining the efficiency of charge separation in the plant photosystem II reaction centre by comprehensively combining experiment (two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy) and theory (Redfield theory). We reveal the presence of electronic coherence between excitons as well as between exciton and charge-transfer states that we argue to be maintained by vibrational modes. Furthermore, we present evidence for the strong correlation between the degree of electronic coherence and efficient and ultrafast charge separation. We propose that this coherent mechanism will inspire the development of new energy technologies.


Van Hinsbergh V.W.M.,VU University Amsterdam
Seminars in Immunopathology | Year: 2012

By its strategic position at the interface between blood and tissues, endothelial cells control blood fluidity and continued tissue perfusion while simultaneously they direct inflammatory cells to areas in need of defense or repair. The endothelial response depends on specific tissue needs and adapts to local stresses. Endothelial cells counteract coagulation by providing tissue factor and thrombin inhibitors and receptors for protein C activation. The receptor PAR-1 is differentially activated by thrombin and the activated protein C/EPCR complex, resulting in antithrombotic and anti-inflammatory effects. Thrombin and vasoactive agents release von Willebrand factor as ultra-large platelet-binding multimers, which are cleaved by ADAMTS13. Platelets can also facilitate leukocyte-endothelium interaction. Platelet activation is prevented by nitric oxide, prostacyclin, and exonucleotidases. Thrombin-cleaved ADAMTS18 induces disintegration of platelet aggregates while tissue-type plasminogen activator initiates fibrinolysis. Fibrin and products of platelets and inflammatory cells modulate the angiogenic response of endothelial cells and contribute to tissue repair. © The Author(s) 2011.


Gooren L.J.,VU University Amsterdam
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2011

A healthy and successful 40-year-old man finds it increasingly difficult to live as a male. In childhood he preferred playing with girls and recalls feeling that he should have been one. Over time he has come to regard himself more and more as a female personality inhabiting a male body. After much agonizing, he has concluded that only sex reassignment can offer the peace of mind he craves. What would you advise? Copyright © 2011 Massachusetts Medical Society.

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