Marjo Donners

Associate professor

Dr Marjo Donners studied Medical Biology at Utrecht University, where she graduated cum laude in 2001. In 2005, she obtained her PhD at Maastricht University (Department of Pathology), where she evaluated novel therapeutic targets and diagnostic tools for atherosclerotic plaque progression, focusing on immunosuppression and proteomics.

In 2004, she started as a post-doc at Maastricht University (Department of Pathology) and visited the lab of Dr R. Stan at Dartmouth University (USA) to gain expertise in lipid raft isolation. In 2006, she moved to the Department of Cardiology and identified A Disintegrin and Metalloproteases ADAM10 as novel binding partner of VEGFR2. Supported by two prestigious personal grants from the Dutch Heart Foundation (Dr. Dekker junior post-doc and senior post-doc grants), she established her own research line unravelling the role of ADAM10 in endothelial cell functions in atherosclerosis. In 2009, she continued this project within the Department of Molecular Genetics, shifting focus to macrophage functions, regulated by ADAMs as well as High Density Lipoproteins. In 2013, she was appointed as Assistant Professor within the Department of Pathology, where she was promoted to Associate Professor in 2017. Using conditional knockout mice, rendered atherogenic by injection with a PCSK9-adenoassociated construct, she studied cell-specific effects of ADAM10 in atherosclerosis.

Her current research focusses on the role of ADAMs and their regulation in vascular inflammation and atherosclerosis. Major aims are to unravel the underlying mechanisms by which ADAMs control macrophage and endothelial cell functions, and (extracellular-vesicle-mediated) cross-talk between vascular cells, in atherosclerosis and co-morbidities (e.g. chronic kidney disease and NASH). Moreover, in close collaboration with Birmingham University, she aims to reveal how specificity of these proteases is regulated by tetraspanins.

Department of Pathology
P. Debyelaan 25, 6229 HX Maastricht
Room number: 5.H2.035
T: +31(0)43 387 46 25

  • 2020
    • van der Vorst, E. P. C., Biessen, E. A. L., & Donners, M. M. P. C. (2020). Letter by van der Vorst et al Regarding Article, "Anti-Inflammatory Effects of HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) in Macrophages Predominate Over Proinflammatory Effects in Atherosclerotic Plaques". Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, 40(2), E31-E32. https://doi.org/10.1161/ATVBAHA.119.313725
  • 2019
    • Donners, M. M. P. C., & Biessen, E. A. L. (2019). SCRIBbling the role of endothelial polarity in atherosclerosis. Cardiovascular Research, 115(14), 1937-1939. https://doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvz171
    • van der Vorst, E. P. C., & Donners, M. M. P. C. (2019). ADAM8 in the cardiovascular system: An innocent bystander with clinical use?Atherosclerosis, 286, 147-149. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2019.04.205
    • Mentrup, T., Theodorou, K., Cabrera-Cabrera, F., Hethig, A. O., Happ, K., Gijbels, M., Gradtke, A-C., Rabe, B., Fukumori, A., Steiner, H., Tholey, A., Fluhrer, R., Donners, M., & Schroeder, B. (2019). Atherogenic LOX-1 signaling is controlled by SPPL2-mediated intramembrane proteolysis. Journal of Experimental Medicine, 216(4), 807-830. https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.20171438
  • 2018
    • Baaten, C. C. F. M. J., Swieringa, F., Misztal, T., Mastenbroek, T. G., Feijge, M. A. H., Bock, P. E., Donners, M. M. P. C., Collins, P. W., Li, R., van der Meijden, P. E. J., & Heemskerk, J. W. M. (2018). Platelet heterogeneity in activation-induced glycoprotein shedding: functional effects. Blood advances, 2(18), 2320-2331. https://doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2017011544
    • van der Vorst, E. P. C., Weber, C., & Donners, M. M. P. C. (2018). A Disintegrin and Metalloproteases (ADAMs) in Cardiovascular, Metabolic and Inflammatory Diseases: Aspects for Theranostic Approaches. Thrombosis and Haemostasis, 118(7), 1167-1175. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0038-1660479
    • van der Vorst, E. P. C., de Jong, R. J., & Donners, M. M. P. C. (2018). Message in a Microbottle: Modulation of Vascular Inflammation and Atherosclerosis by Extracellular Vesicles. Frontiers in cardiovascular medicine, 5, [2]. https://doi.org/10.3389/fcvm.2018.00002
  • 2017
    • Nagenborg, J., Goossens, P., Biessen, E. A. L., & Donners, M. M. P. C. (2017). Heterogeneity of atherosclerotic plaque macrophage origin, phenotype and functions: Implications for treatment. European Journal of Pharmacology, 816, 14-24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2017.10.005
    • Theodorou, K., van der Vorst, E. P. C., Gijbels, M. J., Wolfs, I. M. J., Jeurissen, M., Theelen, T. L., Sluimer, J. C., Wijnands, E., Cleutjens, J. P., Li, Y., Jansen, Y., Weber, C., Ludwig, A., Bentzon, J. F., Bartsch, J. W., Biessen, E. A. L., & Donners, M. M. P. C. (2017). Whole body and hematopoietic ADAM8 deficiency does not influence advanced atherosclerotic lesion development, despite its association with human plaque progression. Scientific Reports, 7, [11670]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-10549-x
    • van der Vorst, E. P. C., Theodorou, K., Biessen, E. A. L., & Donners, M. M. P. C. (2017). Disease- or Storage-Associated Structural Modifications Are Unlikely to Explain HDL Pro-inflammatory Effects on Macrophages. Cell Metabolism, 26(1), 4-5. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2017.05.017
    • van der Vorst, E. P. C., Theodorou, K., Wu, Y., Hoeksema, M. A., Goossens, P., Bursill, C. A., Aliyev, T., Huitema, L. F. A., Tas, S. W., Wolfs, I. M. J., Kuijpers, M. J. E., Gijbels, M. J., Schalkwijk, C. G., Koonen, D. P. Y., Abdollahi-Roodsaz, S., McDaniels, K., Wang, C-C., Leitges, M., Lawrence, T., ... Donners, M. M. P. C. (2017). High-Density Lipoproteins Exert Pro-inflammatory Effects on Macrophages via Passive Cholesterol Depletion and PKC-NF-kappa B/STAT1-IRF1 Signaling. Cell Metabolism, 25(1), 197-207. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2016.10.013
    • Dreymueller, D., Theodorou, K., Donners, M., & Ludwig, A. (2017). Fine Tuning Cell Migration by a Disintegrin and Metalloproteinases. Mediators of Inflammation, 2017, [9621724]. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/9621724
    • van der Vorst, E. P. C., Theodorou, K., Biessen, E. A. L., & Donners, M. M. P. C. (2017). HDL and macrophages: explaining the clinical failures and advancing HDL-based therapeutics in cardiovascular diseases?Expert review of cardiovascular therapy, 15(5), 343-344. https://doi.org/10.1080/14779072.2017.1313115
  • 2016
    • Jeurissen, M. L. J., Walenbergh, S. M. A., Houben, T., Gijbels, M. J. J., Li, J., Hendrikx, T., Oligschläger, Y., van Gorp, P. J., Binder, C. J., Donners, M. M. P. C., & Shiri-Sverdlov, R. (2016). Prevention of oxLDL uptake leads to decreased atherosclerosis in hematopoietic NPC1-deficient Ldlr(-/-) mice. Atherosclerosis, 255, 59-65. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2016.10.038
    • Donners, M. M. P. C., Bai, L., Lutgens, S., Wijnands, E., Johnson, J., Schurgers, L. J., Liu, C-L., Daemen, M., Cleutjens, K. B. J. M., Shi, G-P., Biessen, E. A. L., & Heeneman, S. (2016). Cathepsin K Deficiency Prevents the Aggravated Vascular Remodeling Response to Flow Cessation in ApoE(-/-) Mice. PLOS ONE, 11(9), [e0162595]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0162595
    • Yan, I., Schwarz, J., Luecke, K., Schumacher, N., Schumacher, V., Schmidt, S., Rabe, B., Saftig, P., Donners, M., Rose-John, S., Mittruecker, H-W., & Chalaris, A. (2016). ADAM17 controls IL-6 signaling by cleavage of the murine IL-6R alpha from the cell surface of leukocytes during inflammatory responses. Journal of Leukocyte Biology, 99(5), 749-760. https://doi.org/10.1189/jlb.3A0515-207R
  • 2015
    • Kuijpers, M. J. E., Mattheij, N. J. A., Cipolla, L., van Geffen, J. P., Lawrence, T., Donners, M. M. P. C., Boon, L., Lievens, D., Torti, M., Noels, H., Gerdes, N., Cosemans, J. M. E. M., Lutgens, E., & Heemskerk, J. W. M. (2015). Platelet CD40L Modulates Thrombus Growth Via Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase beta, and Not Via CD40 and I kappa B Kinase alpha. Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, 35(6), 1374-1381. https://doi.org/10.1161/ATVBAHA.114.305127
    • van der Vorst, E. P. C., Jeurissen, M., Wolfs, I. M. J., Keijbeck, A., Theodorou, K., Wijnands, E., Schurgers, L., Weber, S., Gijbels, M. J., Hamers, A. A. J., Dreymueller, D., Rose-John, S., de Winther, M. P. J., Ludwig, A., Saftig, P., Biessen, E. A. L., & Donners, M. M. P. C. (2015). Myeloid A Disintegrin and Metalloproteinase Domain 10 Deficiency Modulates Atherosclerotic Plaque Composition by Shifting the Balance from Inflammation toward Fibrosis. American Journal of Pathology, 185(4), 1145-1155. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajpath.2014.11.028
    • Hendrikx, T., Jeurissen, M. L. J., van Gorp, P. J., Gijbels, M. J., Walenbergh, S. M. A., Houben, T., van Gorp, R., Pottgens, C. C., Stienstra, R., Netea, M. G., Hofker, M., Donners, M. M., & Shiri-Sverdlov, R. (2015). Bone marrow-specific caspase-1/11 deficiency inhibits atherosclerosis development in Ldlr(-/-) mice. FEBS Journal, 282(12), 2327-2338. https://doi.org/10.1111/febs.13279
  • 2014
    • Pruessmeyer, J., Hess, F. M., Alert, H., Groth, E., Pasqualon, T., Schwarz, N., Nyamoya, S., Kollert, J., van der Vorst, E., Donners, M., Martin, C., Uhlig, S., Saftig, P., Dreymueller, D., & Ludwig, A. (2014). Leukocytes require ADAM10 but not ADAM17 for their migration and inflammatory recruitment into the alveolar space. Blood, 123(26), 4077-4088. https://doi.org/10.1182/blood-2013-09-511543
    • Marsch, E., Theelen, T. L., Demandt, J. A., Jeurissen, M., van Gink, M., Verjans, R., Janssen, A., Cleutjens, J. P., Meex, S. J., Donners, M. M., Haenen, G., Schalkwijk, C. G., Dubois, L. J., Lambin, P., Mallat, Z., Gijbels, M. J., Heemskerk, J. W., Fisher, E. A., Biessen, E. A., ... Sluimer, J. C. (2014). Reversal of hypoxia in murine atherosclerosis prevents necrotic core expansion by enhancing efferocytosis. Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, 34(12), 2545-2553. https://doi.org/10.1161/ATVBAHA.114.304023
    • Jetten, N., Verbruggen, S., Gijbels, M. J., Post, M. J., De Winther, M. P. J., & Donners, M. M. P. C. (2014). Anti-inflammatory M2, but not pro-inflammatory M1 macrophages promote angiogenesis in vivo. Angiogenesis, 17(1), 109-118. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10456-013-9381-6
    • Wolfs, I. M. J., Stoger, J. L., Goossens, P., Pottgens, C., Gijbels, M. J. J., Wijnands, E., van der Vorst, E. P. C., van Gorp, P., Beckers, L., Engel, D., Biessen, E. A. L., Kraal, G., van Die, I., Donners, M. M. P. C., & de Winther, M. P. J. (2014). Reprogramming macrophages to an anti-inflammatory phenotype by helminth antigens reduces murine atherosclerosis. Faseb Journal, 28(1), 288-299. https://doi.org/10.1096/fj.13-235911
  • 2013
    • Jetten, N., Donners, M. M. P. C., Wagenaar, A., Cleutjens, J. P. M., van Rooijen, N., de Winther, M. P. J., & Post, M. J. (2013). Local Delivery of Polarized Macrophages Improves Reperfusion Recovery in a Mouse Hind Limb Ischemia Model. PLOS ONE, 8(7), [e68811]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0068811
    • Schutters, K., Kusters, D. H. M., Chatrou, M. L. L., Montero-Melendez, T., Donners, M., Deckers, N. M., Krysko, D. V., Vandenabeele, P., Perretti, M., Schurgers, L. J., & Reutelingsperger, C. P. M. (2013). Cell surface-expressed phosphatidylserine as therapeutic target to enhance phagocytosis of apoptotic cells. Cell Death and Differentiation, 20(1), 49-56. https://doi.org/10.1038/cdd.2012.107
  • 2012
    • van der Vorst, E. P. C., Keijbeck, A. A., de Winther, M. P. J., & Donners, M. M. P. C. (2012). A disintegrin and metalloproteases: Molecular scissors in angiogenesis, inflammation and atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis, 224(2), 302-308. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2012.04.023
    • Donners, M. M. P. C., Wolfs, I. M. J., Stoger, L. J., van der Vorst, E. P. C., Pottgens, C. C. H., Heymans, S., Schroen, B., Gijbels, M. J. J., & de Winther, M. P. J. (2012). Hematopoietic miR155 Deficiency Enhances Atherosclerosis and Decreases Plaque Stability in Hyperlipidemic Mice. PLOS ONE, 7(4), [e35877]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0035877
  • 2011
    • Wolfs, I. M. J., Donners, M. M. P. C., & de Winther, M. P. J. (2011). Differentiation factors and cytokines in the atherosclerotic plaque micro-environment as a trigger for macrophage polarisation. Thrombosis and Haemostasis, 106(5), 763-771. https://doi.org/10.1160/TH11-05-0320
  • 2010
    • Caolo, V., van den Akker, N. M. S., Verbruggen, S., Donners, M. M. P. C., Swennen, G., Schulten, H., Waltenberger, J., Post, M. J., & Molin, D. G. M. (2010). Feed-forward Signaling by Membrane-bound Ligand Receptor Circuit THE CASE OF NOTCH DELTA-LIKE 4 LIGAND IN ENDOTHELIAL CELLS. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 285(52), 40681-40689. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M110.176065
    • Donners, M. P. C., Wolfs, I. M. J., Olieslagers, S., Mohammadi-Motahhari, Z., Tchaikovski, V., Heeneman, S., van Buul, J. D., Caolo, V., Molin, D. G. M., Post, M. J., & Waltenberger, J. (2010). A Disintegrin and Metalloprotease 10 Is a Novel Mediator of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor: Induced Endothelial Cell Function in Angiogenesis and Is Associated With Atherosclerosis. Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, 30(11), 2188-U382. https://doi.org/10.1161/ATVBAHA.110.213124
  • 2005
    • Donners, M. M. P. C., Verluyten, M. J., Bouwman, F. G., Mariman, E. C., Devreese, B., Vanrobaeys, F., van Beeumen, J., van den Akker, L. H., Daemen, M. J., & Heeneman, S. (2005). Proteomic analysis of differential protein expression in human atherosclerotic plaque progression. Journal of Pathology, 206(1), 39-45. https://doi.org/10.1002/path.1749