Dr. M.C. Lebre

Main activities
Dendritic cells in autoimmunity
Focus of research
Adaptive immune responses are orchestrated by a system of dendritic cells (DCs) that collect and process antigens for presentation to T cells. Therefore, DCs are key players in immune regulation and an important component of rational immunotherapeutic strategies in humans. Because of their unique ability to infiltrate peripheral tissues and to engulf, process, and present antigens in the context of MHC molecules, DCs are considered by many as the sentinels of the immune system. Indeed, DCs can transmigrate through the endothelium, intercalate between mucosal epithelial cells and through direct cell/cell interaction, trigger or modulate a large panel of immune functions, including CD4 or CD8 T cell responses, NK cytotoxicity, and B cell differentiation into plasma cells. Over the past decade, it has become increasingly clear that DCs are not a homogeneous population of cells.

The research line “The role of dendritic cells in autoimmunity and development of innovative therapies” encompasses a multidisciplinary approach to get more insight into the inflammatory processes that are involved in various stages of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other autoimmune diseases, and to translate this knowledge into novel therapeutic approaches.

Key publications
  • Ramos MIP, Karpus ON, Broekstra P, Aarrass S, Jacobsen SE, Tak PP, Lebre MC, Absence of Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 ligand (Flt3L) signalling protects against collagen-induced arthritis. ANN RHEUM DIS 2015;74 (1):211-219 [PubMed]
  • Ramos MI, Tak PP, Lebre MC, Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 ligand-dependent dendritic cells in autoimmune inflammation. AUTOIMMUN REV 2014;13 (2):117-124 [PubMed]
  • Ramos MI, Perez SG, Aarrass S, Helder B, Broekstra P, Gerlag DM, Reedquist KA, Tak PP, Lebre MC, FMS-related tyrosine kinase 3 ligand (Flt3L)/CD135 axis in rheumatoid arthritis. ARTHRITIS RES THER 2013;15 (6):R209 [PubMed]
  • Jongbloed SL, Lebre MC, Fraser AR, Gracie JA, Sturrock RD, Tak PP, McInnes IB, Enumeration and phenotypical analysis of distinct dendritic cell subsets in psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. ARTHRITIS RES THER 2006;8 (1):R15 [PubMed]
  • Herenius MMJ, Oliveira ASF, Wijbrandts CA, Gerlag DM, Tak PP, Lebre MC, Anti-TNF therapy reduces serum levels of chemerin in rheumatoid arthritis: a new mechanism by which anti-TNF might reduce inflammation. PLOS ONE 2013;8 (2):e57802 [PubMed]
All Publications
Research programmes

Prof. dr. P.P. Tak (The pathogenesis of rheumatic disease and development of innovative therapies)