Neuroimmune connections & repair (NIC&R)

"Unity in diversity"

Prof. dr. Niels Hellings


    Connections:  Liesbet Peeters

    Repair: Tim Vanmierlo

    Healthy Aging: Leen Slaets

    Research focus

    The complex interplay between the central nervous system and the immune system is crucial for a long and healthy life, but disturbances in this delicate balance contribute to neurodegenerative diseases.

    Therefore, the NIC&R team investigates fundamental mechanisms in neuroinflammation, repair and aging, while implementing large scale data sciences, so that novel leads for future therapies are generated and validated.

    Key Publications

    1. “Oncostatin M-induced astrocytic tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 drives remyelination”

    Houben E.*, Janssens K.*, Hermans D., Van den Haute C., Schepers M., Vanmierlo T., Vandooren J., Lambrichts I., Baekelandt V., Opdenakker G., Baron W., Broux B.*,Slaets H.*, Hellings N.*

    * equally contributing authors

    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Mar 3;117(9):5028-5038.

    1. Cytotoxic CD4+ T Cells Drive Multiple Sclerosis Progression.

    Peeters LM, Vanheusden M, Somers V, Van Wijmeersch B, Stinissen P, Broux B, Hellings N.

    Front Immunol. 2017 Sep 20;8:1160.

    1. Oncostatin M protects against demyelination by inducing a protective microglial phenotype.

    Janssens K, Maheshwari A, Van den Haute C, Baekelandt V, Stinissen P, Hendriks JJ, Slaets H, Hellings N.

    Glia. 2015 Oct;63(10):1729-37.

    1. “CX3CR1 drives cytotoxic CD4+CD28- T cells into the brain of multiple sclerosis patients”

    Broux B, Pannemans K, Zhang X, Markovic-Plese S, Broekmans T, Eijnde BO, Van Wijmeersch B, Somers V, Geusens P, van der Pol S, van Horssen J, Stinissen P, Hellings N. J Autoimmun. 2012; Feb;38(1):10-9.

    1. CNS-targeted LIF Expression Improves Therapeutic Efficacy and Limits Autoimmune-mediated Demyelination in a Model of Multiple Sclerosis.

    Slaets H, Hendriks JJ, Van den Haute C, Coun F, Baekelandt V, Stinissen P, Hellings N.

    Mol Ther. 2010; 18(4): 684-691