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VAISMS project

Laatste wijziging: 24 January 2022

The aging innate immune system as cause of disease progression in multiple sclerosis


Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Jerome Hendriks, Researcher: Elien Wouters


The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of aging on the phenotype of monocytes in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Monocytes are isolated from blood samples from MS patients and healthy controls of different age groups (I: <45; II: 46-64 years; III:> 65 years). The phenotype of the monocytes is determined by measuring the expression and secretion of pro-inflammatory and neurotrophic factors. In addition, the effect of aging on the expression of nuclear receptors (liver X receptors (LXRs) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs)) and on the phagocytic capacity of monocytes will be investigated.


To look at the impact of environmental factors, e.g., cytokines present in the circulation, on the phenotype of monocytes, plasma samples from the various groups will be collected and used to culture monocytes. In addition, the plasma samples will also be used to determine the level of endogenous ligands (e.g. oxysterols and fatty acids) of LXRs and PPARs.


This research will lead to a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of MS and will contribute to the development of new and improved therapeutic strategies for the treatment of MS.