Cum Laude Kosta Theodorou
Last January 19, Kosta Theodorou from the Pathology Department defended his PhD thesis and received the judicium cum laude. Kosta's thesis is entitled: “Disarray at the membrane: Regulation of vascular inflammation by cholesterol and proteases.” Promotor: Prof. Erik Biessen; copromotor: Dr Marjo Donners.
His thesis addressed the immunomodulatory actions of HDL and the effects of transmembrane proteolysis by ADAMs and SPPLs on vascular inflammation. His studies challenged the dogma of HDL as anti-inflammatory agent by showing overt pro-inflammatory effects on macrophages. In collaboration with Dr. Touqui from Pasteur Institute, Kosta showed such pro-inflammatory effects to be beneficial for the clearance of bacterial infection the lungs of mice.
Furthermore, Kosta showed that the membrane proteases ADAM10 and SPPL2 are crucial endogeneous mechanisms in endothelium protecting against atherosclerosis development in mice, as deficiency of these proteases in mice showed enhanced plaque neovascularization and hemorrhage or enhanced inflammatory signaling of LOX-1, respectively.