SASKIA DE JAGER, PHD MSC
Cardiovascular immunology | Biomarkers | Preclinical models
The number of heart failure (HF) patient is expected to exponentially rise the coming decades and as treatment for HF is currently mostly based on treatment of symptoms the need for novel therapeutics is evident. The mission of my research is to identify novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of heart failure, with specific emphasis on targeting the immune system. One of the proteins that I am particularly interested in is GDF15. GDF15 is a proven prognostic biomarker for cardiovascular disease and with my team we are currently working on establishing the causal role and possible therapeutic intervention of GDF15 in heart failure (CVON Reconnect). Furthermore we recently showed that general IgG1 antibody titers are increased in diastolic dysfunction patients and further increases with disease progression. We are currently assessing epitopes profiles (that may hold biomarker function), and aim to establish the causal role of these autoantibodies in HF.
van den Hoogen, P. et al. Increased circulating IgG levels, myocardial immune cells and IgG deposits support a role for an immune response in pre- and end-stage heart failure. J. Cell. Mol. Med. (2019) doi:10.1111/jcmm.14619.
Van Den Hoogen, P. et al. Potential of mesenchymal- And cardiac progenitor cells for therapeutic targeting of Bcells and antibody responses in end-stage heart failure. PLoS One (2019) doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0227283.
Meeuwsen, J. A. L. et al. High levels of (un)switched memory B cells are associated with better outcome in patients with advanced atherosclerotic disease. J. Am. Heart Assoc. 6, (2017) doi: 10.1161/JAHA.117.005747.
Gohar, A. et al. Circulating GDF-15 levels predict future secondary manifestations of cardiovascular disease explicitly in women but not men with atherosclerosis. Int. J. Cardiol. 241, (2017) doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2017.03.101