Information Maastricht Group

In the last decade, the Maastricht research group has been successfully focusing on providing novel insight in the mechanisms triggering inflammation in metabolic syndrome-associated disorders such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The central goal of the research group is to establish translational platforms to investigate and apply initial in vitro and in vivo findings in a clinical setting. Consequently, experiments performed within the research group span from cellular and animal studies to human studies. This approach has led to multiple publications in high-impact journals (Diabetes, Gastroenterology, Hepatology) and to numerous patent applications, indicating the market potential of their scientific observations.

The Maastricht group has been involved in the IN-CONTROL consortium since its start in 2013. Together with the research group of Groningen, their goal was to provide novel mechanistic insight into the mechanisms by which the gut microbiota influence inflammation in atherosclerosis and metabolic-associated disorders such as NASH.

WP4 (in collaboration with WP2/WP5)


  1. Chanda D, Li J, Oligschlaeger Y, Jeurissen ML, Houben T, Walenbergh SM, Shiri-Sverdlov R, Neumann D. MSP is a negative regulator of inflammation and lipogenesis in ex vivo models of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Experimental & Molecular Medicine, 2016 Sep 9;48: e258. doi: 10.1038/emm.2016.79. PMID: 27609031
  2. Li J, Chanda D, van Gorp PJ, Jeurissen ML, Houben T, Walenbergh SM, Debets J, Oligschlaeger Y, Gijbels MJ, Neumann D, Shiri-Sverdlov R. Macrophage stimulating protein enhances hepatic inflammation in a NASH model. PLoS One, 2016 Sep 29;11(9):e0163843. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0163843. eCollection 2016. PMID: 27685150
  3. Houben T, Brandsma E, Walenbergh SM, Hofker MH, Shiri-Sverdlov R. Oxidized LDL at the crossroads of immunity in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. BBA-Molecular and Cell biology of Lipids, 2017 Apr; 1862(4):416-429. doi: 10.1016/j.bbalip.2016.07.008. Epub 2016 Jul 27. PMID: 27472963
  4. Jeurissen ML, Walenbergh SM, Houben T, Gijbels MJ, Li J, Hendrikx T, Oligschlaeger Y, van Gorp PJ, Binder CJ, Donners MM, Shiri-Sverdlov R. Prevention of oxLDL uptake leads to decreased atherosclerosis in hematopoietic NPC1-deficient Ldlr-/- mice. Atherosclerosis, 2016 Dec; 255:59-65. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2016.10.038. Epub 2016 Oct 20. PMID: 27816810
  5. Jeurissen ML, Walenbergh SM, Houben T, Hendrikx T, Li J, Oligschlaeger Y, van Gorp PJ, Gijbels MJ, Bitorina A, Nessel I, Radtke F, Vooijs M, Theys J, Shiri-Sverdlov R. Myeloid DLL4 does not contribute to the pathogenesis of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis in Ldlr-/- mice. PLoS One, 2016 Nov 29; 11(11):e0167199. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0167199. eCollection 2016. PMID: 27898698
  6. Walenbergh SM, Houben T, Rensen SS, Bieghs V, Hendrikx T, van Gorp PJ, Oligschlaeger Y, Jeurissen ML, Gijbels MJ, Buurman WA, Vreugdenhil AC, Greve JW, Plat J, Hofker MH, Kalhan S, Pihlajamäki J, Lindsey P, Koek GH, Shiri-Sverdlov R.  Scientific Reports, 2016 Dec 6;6: 38278. doi: 10.1038/srep38278. PMID: 27922112
  7. Imhann F, Vich Vila A, Bonder MJ, Lopez Manosalva AG, Koonen DP, Fu J, Wijmenga C, Zhernakova A, Weersma RK. The influence of proton pump inhibitors and other commonly used medication on the gut microbiota. Gut Microbes. 2017 Jan 24:1-8.
  8. Busch CJ, Hendrikx T, Weismann D, Jäckel S, Walenbergh SM, Rendeiro AF, Weiβer J, Puhm F, Hladik A, Göderle L, Papac-Milicevic N, Haas G, Millischer V, Subramaniam S, Knapp S, Bennet KL, Bock C, Reinhardt C, Shiri-Sverdlov R, Binder CJ. Malondialdehyde epitopes are sterile mediators of hepatic inflammation in hypercholesterolemic mice. Hepatology. 2017 Apr;65(4):1181-1195. doi: 10.1002/hep.28970. Epub 2017 Feb 3. PMID: 27981604
  9. Atanasovska B, Rensen SS, van der Sijde MR, Marsman G, Kumar V, Jonkers I, Withoff S, Shiri-Sverdlov R, Greve JWM, Faber KN, Moshage H, Wijmenga C, van de Sluis B, Hofker MH, Fu J. A liver-specific long noncoding RNA with a role in cell viability is elevated in human nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Hepatology 2017 Sep;66(3):794-808. doi: 10.1002/hep.29034. Epub 2017 Jul 18. PMID: 28073183
  10. Aafke WF Janssen, Tom Houben, Saeed Katiraei, Wieneke Dijk, Lily Boutens, Nieke van der Bolt, Zeneng Wang, J Mark Brown, Stanley L Hazen, Stéphane Mandard, Ronit Shiri-Sverdlov, Folkert Kuipers, Ko Willems van Dijk, Jacques Vervoort, Rinke Stienstra, Guido JEJ Hooiveld, Sander Kersten. Modulation of the gut microbiota impacts non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a potential role for bile acids. Journal of Lipid Research, 2017 Jul;58(7):1399-1416. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M075713. Epub 2017 May 22. PMID: 28533304
  11. Tom Houben, Yvonne Oligschlaeger, Tim Hendrik, Albert V Bitorina, Sofie MA Walenbergh, Patrick J van Gorp, Marion JJ Gijbels, Silvia Friedrichs, Jogchum Plat, Frank G Schaap, Dieter Lütjohann, Marten H Hofker, Ronit Shiri-Sverdlov. Cathepsin D regulates lipid metabolism in murine steatohepatitis. Scientific Reports, 2017 Jun 14;7(1):3494. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-03796-5. PMID: 28615690


Sept. 2016
Poster presentation at Summer Frontiers 2016 – Systems Biology of Innate Immunity (Nijmegen, the Netherlands); ‘Cathepsin D as a novel therapeutic target to combat NASH’

Oct. 2016
Oral presentation at Dutch Liver Retreat 2016 (Spier, the Netherlands); ‘The lysosomal enzyme cathepsin D as a therapeutic target for NASH’. Awarded Best Oral presentation.

Nov. 2016
Oral presentation (Maastricht, the Netherlands); ‘Het ontsnappen van cathepsine D: opsporing en behandeling van atherosclerose’

Dec. 2016
Poster presentation at Annual Nutrim Symposium (Maastricht, the Netherlands); ‘Cathepsin D regulates lipid metabolism in murine steatohepatitis’

Jan. 2017
Oral presentation at the NUTRIM Research Line 2 lunch meeting (Maastricht, the Netherlands); ‘The lysosomal enzyme cathepsin D as marker and therapeutic target for NASH’

Jan. 2017
Invited oral presentation at the UCD DCRC Complications of diabetes and obesity symposium (Dublin, Ireland); ‘OxLDL is taking the lead in NASH’

Mar. 2017
Oral presentation at the Digestive Disease Days (Veldhoven, the Netherlands); ‘The lysosomal enzyme cathepsin D as a therapeutic target for NASH’

Mar. 2017
Regulation and dysregulation of metabolic homeostasis by the liver (Maastricht, the Netherlands)

April 2017
Poster Presentation at the 85th EAS Conference, Prague, Czech Republic. Best poster Award.

May 2017
Oral presentation (Maastricht, the Netherlands); Leakage of lysosomal enzymes: non-invasive tools for early diagnosis of NASH

Sept 2017
Oral Presentation at the 40th ELC Meeting, Tutzing, Germany; A pro-inflammatory role of the gut microbiome in the progression of atherosclerosis.


Method for treating nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (Patent number 329 EPP0; date of filing: 23.02.2016) (Ronit Shiri-Sverdlov and Tom Houben were awarded as inventors at the Brightlands Science forum)