Kristiaan Wouters

Associate professor

Dr Kristiaan Wouters has studied Biomedical Sciences at Hasselt University (Belgium). In 2003, he started his PhD research at the Dept. of Molecular Genetics at Maastricht University on the role of macrophages and inflammation in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. After obtaining his PhD in 2008, he worked as a post-doc in the laboratory of Prof. Bart Staels at the Pasteur Institute in Lille, France, on the role of macrophage polarisation in obesity, diabetes, and atherosclerosis. Kristiaan has returned to Maastricht at the Dept. of Internal Medicine as tenure track researcher setting up his research group 'Translational Immunometabolism'. Since 2019, he has been appointed as Associate Professor.

The group focusses on the immunological events in adipose tissue during obesity and the impact of these events on cardiometabolic complications, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, with a specific focus on the interplay between metabolism and inflammation in innate immune cells.

Current projects focus on the role of reactive dicarbonyls formed during glycolysis on immune cell function in cardiometabolic diseases, and on multivariate analysis of flow cytometry data.



Department of Internal Medicine
Universiteitssingel 50, 6229 ER Maastricht
PO Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht
Room number: H5.310
T: +31(0)43 388 42 33

  • 2023
    • Trouwborst, I., Wouters, K., Jocken, J. W., Jardon, K. M., Gijbels, A., Dagnelie, P. C., van Greevenbroek, M. M. J., van der Kallen, C. J., Stehouwer, C. D. A., Schalkwijk, C. G., Richard, N., Bendik, I., Afman, L. A., Blaak, E. E., & Goossens, G. H. (2023). Circulating and adipose tissue immune cells in tissue-specific insulin resistance in humans with overweight and obesity. Obesity, 31(5), 1326-1337.
    • Zhang, X. D., Scheijen, J. L. J. M., Stehouwer, C. D. A., Wouters, K., & Schalkwijk, C. G. (2023). Increased methylglyoxal formation in plasma and tissues during a glucose tolerance test is derived from exogenous glucose. Clinical Science, 137(8), 697-706.
    • Hanssen, N. M. J., Tikellis, C., Pickering, R. J., Dragoljevic, D., Lee, M. K. S., Block, T., Scheijen, J. L. J. M., Wouters, K., Miyata, T., Cooper, M. E., Murphy, A. J., Thomas, M. C., & Schalkwijk, C. G. (2023). Pyridoxamine prevents increased atherosclerosis by intermittent methylglyoxal spikes in the aortic arches of ApoE-/- mice. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 158, Article 114211.
    • Schalkwijk, C. G., Micali, L. R., & Wouters, K. (2023). Advanced glycation endproducts in diabetes-related macrovascular complications: focus on methylglyoxal. Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, 34(1), 49-60.
  • 2022
    • De Hert, E., Verboven, K., Wouters, K., Jocken, J. W. E., & De Meester, I. (2022). Prolyl Carboxypeptidase Activity Is Present in Human Adipose Tissue and Is Elevated in Serum of Obese Men with Type 2 Diabetes. International journal of molecular sciences, 23(21), Article 13529.
    • Goossens, P., Lu, C., Cao, J., Gijbels, M. J., Karel, J. M. H., Wijnands, E., Claes, B. S. R., Fazzi, G. E., Hendriks, T. F. E., Wouters, K., Smirnov, E., van Zandvoort, M. J. M., Balluff, B., Cuypers, E., Donners, M. M. P. C., Heeren, R. M. A., & Biessen, E. A. L. (2022). Integrating multiplex immunofluorescent and mass spectrometry imaging to map myeloid heterogeneity in its metabolic and cellular context. Cell Metabolism, 34(8), 1214-1225.e6.
    • Zhang, X., Schalkwijk, C. G., & Wouters, K. (2022). Immunometabolism and the modulation of immune responses and host defense: A role for methylglyoxal?Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Molecular Basis of Disease, 1868(8), Article 166425.
    • Ottaviani, L., Pinto, V. S., Knoops, K., Wouters, K., Martins, P. A. D., & Abreu, R. (2022). Cre/Lox-Assisted Tracking Of Cardiac Intercellular Communication. Tissue Engineering, 28, S339-S340.
  • 2021
    • Tinnevelt, G. H., Wouters, K., Postma, G. J., Folcarelli, R., & Jansen, J. J. (2021). High-throughput single cell data analysis - A tutorial. Analytica Chimica Acta, 1185, Article 338872.
    • Bogie, J. F. J., Vanmierlo, T., Vanmol, J., Timmermans, S., Mailleux, J., Nelissen, K., Wijnands, E., Wouters, K., Stinissen, P., Gustafsson, J. A., Steffensen, K. R., Mulder, M., Zelcer, N., & Hendriks, J. J. A. (2021). Liver X receptor beta deficiency attenuates autoimmune-associated neuroinflammation in a T cell-dependent manner. Journal of Autoimmunity, 124, Article 102723.
    • van Dongen, K. C. W., Linkens, A. M. A., Wetzels, S. M. W., Wouters, K., Vanmierlo, T., van de Waarenburg, M. P. H., Scheijen, J. L. J. M., de Vos, W. M., Belzer, C., & Schalkwijk, C. G. (2021). Dietary advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) increase their concentration in plasma and tissues, result in inflammation and modulate gut microbial composition in mice; evidence for reversibility. Food Research International, 147, Article 110547.
    • Wouters, K., Cento, A. S., Gaens, K. H., Teunissen, M., Scheijen, J. L. J. M., Barutta, F., Chiazza, F., Collotta, D., Aragno, M., Gruden, G., Collino, M., Schalkwijk, C. G., & Mastrocola, R. (2021). Deletion of RAGE fails to prevent hepatosteatosis in obese mice due to impairment of other AGEs receptors and detoxifying systems. Scientific Reports, 11(1), Article 17373.
    • Mastrocola, R., Dal Bello, F., Cento, A. S., Gaens, K., Collotta, D., Aragno, M., Medana, C., Collino, M., Wouters, K., & Schalkwijk, C. G. (2021). Altered hepatic sphingolipid metabolism in insulin resistant mice: Role of advanced glycation endproducts. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 169, 425-435.
    • Crivelli, S. M., Luo, Q., Stevens, J. A. A., Giovagnoni, C., van Kruining, D., Bode, G., den Hoedt, S., Hobo, B., Scheithauer, A. L., Walter, J., Mulder, M. T., Exley, C., Mold, M., Mielke, M. M., De Vries, H. E., Wouters, K., van den Hove, D. L. A., Berkes, D., Ledesma, M. D., ... Martinez-Martinez, P. (2021). CERTL reduces C16 ceramide, amyloid-β levels, and inflammation in a model of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer's Research & Therapy, 13(1), Article 45.
    • Maalmi, H., Wouters, K., Savelberg, H. H. C. M., van der Velde, J. H. P. M., Reulen, J. P. H., Mess, W., Schalkwijk, C. G., Stehouwer, C. D. A., Roden, M., Ziegler, D., Herder, C., & Schaper, N. C. (2021). Associations of cells from both innate and adaptive immunity with lower nerve conduction velocity: the Maastricht Study. BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, 9(1), Article 001698.
  • 2020
    • Wouters, K., Kusters, Y. H. A. M., Bijnen, M., Wetzels, S., Zhang, X., Linssen, P. B. C., Gaens, K., Houben, A. J. H. M., Joris, P. J., Plat, J., Kooi, M. E., van der Kallen, C. J. H., Mensink, R. P., Verboven, K., Jocken, J., Hansen, D., Blaak, E. E., Ehlers, F. A. I., Wieten, L., ... Schalkwijk, C. G. (2020). NK cells in human visceral adipose tissue contribute to obesity-associated insulin resistance through low-grade inflammation. Clinical and Translational Medicine, 10(6), Article 192.
    • Folcarelli, R., Tinnevelt, G. H., Hilvering, B., Wouters, K., van Staveren, S., Postma, G. J., Vrisekoop, N., Buydens, L. M. C., Koenderman, L., & Jansen, J. J. (2020). Multi-set Pre-processing of Multicolor Flow Cytometry Data. Scientific Reports, 10(1), Article 9716.
    • Simons, N., Bijnen, M., Wouters, K. A. M., Rensen, S. S., Beulens, J. W. J., van Greevenbroek, M. M. J., 't Hart, L. M., Greve, J. W. M., van der Kallen, C. J. H., Schaper, N. C., Schalkwijk, C. G., Stehouwer, C. D. A., & Brouwers, M. C. G. J. (2020). The endothelial function biomarker soluble E-selectin is associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Liver International, 40(5), 1079-1088.
    • Sari, G., Meester, E. J., van der Zee, L. C., Wouters, K., van Lennep, J. R., Peppelenbosch, M., Boonstra, A., Van der Heiden, K., Mulder, M. M. T., & Vanwolleghem, T. (2020). A mouse model of humanized liver shows a human-like lipid profile, but does not form atherosclerotic plaque after western type diet. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 524(2), 510-515.
    • Wetzels - van Hooijdonk, S., Bijnen, M., Wijnands, E., van de Gaar, M. J., Tan, A., Coort, S., Biessen, E., Schalkwijk, C., & Wouters, K. (2020). CD11c−MHC2low Macrophages Are a New Inflammatory and Dynamic Subset in Murine Adipose Tissue. Immunometabolism, 2(2), Article e200015.
    • Josefs, T., Wouters, K., Tietge, U. J. F., Annema, W., Dullaart, R. P. F., Vaisar, T., Arts, I. C. W., van der Kallen, C. J. H., Stehouwer, C. D. A., Schalkwijk, C. G., Goldberg, I. J., Fisher, E. A., & van Greevenbroek, M. M. J. (2020). High-density lipoprotein cholesterol efflux capacity is not associated with atherosclerosis and prevalence of cardiovascular outcome: The CODAM study. Journal of Clinical Lipidology, 14(1), 122-132.e4.
  • 2019
    • Tinnevelt, G. H., van Staveren, S., Wouters, K., Wijnands, E., Verboven, K., Folcarelli, R., Koenderman, L., Buydens, L. M. C., & Jansen, J. J. (2019). A novel data fusion method for the effective analysis of multiple panels of flow cytometry data. Scientific Reports, 9(1), Article 6777.
    • Paumelle, R., Haas, J. T., Hennuyer, N., Bauge, E., Deleye, Y., Mesotten, D., Langouche, L., Vanhoutte, J., Cudejko, C., Wouters, K., Hannou, S. A., Legry, V., Lancel, S., Lalloyer, F., Polizzi, A., Smati, S., Gourdy, P., Vallez, E., Bouchaert, E., ... Staels, B. (2019). Hepatic PPARα is critical in the metabolic adaptation to sepsis. Journal of Hepatology, 70(5), 963-973.
    • Wetzels, S., Vanmierlo, T., Scheijen, J. L. J. M., van Horssen, J., Amor, S., Somers, V., Schalkwijk, C. G., Hendriks, J. J. A., & Wouters, K. (2019). Methylglyoxal-Derived Advanced Glycation Endproducts Accumulate in Multiple Sclerosis Lesions. Frontiers in Immunology, 10, Article 855.
    • Plat, J., Baumgartner, S., Vanmierlo, T., Luetjohann, D., Calkins, K. L., Burrin, D. G., Guthrie, G., Thijs, C., Te Velde, A. A., Vreugdenhil, A. C. E., Sverdlov, R., Garssen, J., Wouters, K., Trautwein, E. A., Wolfs, T. G., van Gorp, C., Mulder, M. T., Riksen, N. P., Groen, A. K., & Mensink, R. P. (2019). Plant-based sterols and stanols in health & disease: "Consequences of human development in a plant-based environment?". Progress in Lipid Research, 74, 87-102.
    • Bijnen, M., van de Gaar, J., Vroomen, M., Gijbels, M. J., de Winther, M., Schalkwijk, C. G., & Wouters, K. (2019). Adipose tissue macrophages do not affect atherosclerosis development in mice. Atherosclerosis, 281, 31-37.
    • Bijnen, M., van Greevenbroek, M. M. J., van Der Kallen, C. J. H., Scheijen, J. L., van de Waarenburg, M. P. H., Stehouwer, C. D. A., Wouters, K., & Schallcwijk, C. G. (2019). Hepatic Fat Content and Liver Enzymes Are Associated with Circulating Free and Protein-Bound Advanced Glycation End Products, Which Are Associated with Low-Grade Inflammation: The CODAM Study. Journal of Diabetes Research, 2019, Article 6289831.
  • 2018
    • Bijnen, M., Beelen, N., Wetzels, S., van De Gaar, J., Vroomen, M., Wijnands, E., Scheijen, J. L., van de Waarenburg, M. P. H., Gijbels, M. J., Cleutjens, J. P., Biessen, E. A. L., Stehouwer, C. D. A., Schalkwijk, C. G., & Wouters, K. (2018). RAGE deficiency does not affect non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and atherosclerosis in Western type diet-fed Ldlr(-/-) mice. Scientific Reports, 8, Article 15256.
    • Bijnen, M., Josefs, T., Cuijpers, I., Maalsen, C. J., van de Gaar, J., Vroomen, M., Wijnands, E., Rensen, S. S., Greve, J. W. M., Hofker, M. H., Biessen, E. A. L., Stehouwer, C. D. A., Schalkwijk, C. G., & Wouters, K. (2018). Adipose tissue macrophages induce hepatic neutrophil recruitment and macrophage accumulation in mice. Gut, 67(7), 1317-1327.
    • Wetzels, S., Wouters, K., Miyata, T., Scheijen, J. L. J. M., Hendriks, J. J. A., Schalkwijk, C. G., & Vanmierlo, T. (2018). Advanced Glycation Endproducts Are Increased in the Animal Model of Multiple Sclerosis but Cannot Be Reduced by Pyridoxamine Treatment or Glyoxalase 1 Overexpression. International journal of molecular sciences, 19(5), Article 1311.
    • Verboven, K., Wouters, K., Gaens, K., Hansen, D., Bijnen, M., Wetzels, S., Stehouwer, C. D., Goossens, G. H., Schalkwijk, C. G., Blaak, E. E., & Jocken, J. W. (2018). Abdominal subcutaneous and visceral adipocyte size, lipolysis and inflammation relate to insulin resistance in male obese humans. Scientific Reports, 8, Article 4677.
    • Wetzels, S., Bijnen, M., Wijnands, E., Biessen, E. A. L., Schalkwijk, C. G., & Wouters, K. (2018). Characterization of Immune Cells in Human Adipose Tissue by Using Flow Cytometry. Journal of visualized experiment, (133), Article e57319 .
  • 2017
    • Bogie, J. F. J., Mailleux, J., Wouters, E., Jorissen, W., Grajchen, E., Vanmol, J., Wouters, K., Hellings, N., van Horssen, J., Vanmierlo, T., & Hendriks, J. J. A. (2017). Corrigendum: Scavenger receptor collectin placenta 1 is a novel receptor involved in the uptake of myelin by phagocytes. Scientific Reports, 7, Article 46925.
    • Wouters, K., Deleye, Y., Hannou, S. A., Vanhoutte, J., Marechal, X., Coisne, A., Tagzirt, M., Derudas, B., Bouchaert, E., Duhem, C., Vallez, E., Schalkwijk, C. G., Pattou, F., Montaigne, D., Staels, B., & Paumelle, R. (2017). The tumour suppressor CDKN2A/p16(INK4a) regulates adipogenesis and bone marrow-dependent development of perivascular adipose tissue. Diabetes & Vascular Disease Research, 14(6), 516-524.
    • Biessen, E. A. L., & Wouters, K. (2017). Macrophage complexity in human atherosclerosis: opportunities for treatment?Current Opinion in Lipidology, 28(5), 419-426.
    • Rienks, M., Papageorgiou, A., Wouters, K., Verhesen, W., van Leeuwen, R., Carai, P., Summer, G., Westermann, D., & Heymans, S. (2017). A novel 72-kDa leukocyte-derived osteoglycin enhances the activation of toll-like receptor 4 and exacerbates cardiac inflammation during viral myocarditis. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 74(8), 1511-1525.
    • Bogie, J. F. J., Mailleux, J., Wouters, E., Jorissen, W., Grajchen, E., Vanmol, J., Wouters, K., Hellings, N., Van Horsen, J., Vanmierlo, T., & Hendriks, J. J. A. (2017). Scavenger receptor collectin placenta 1 is a novel receptor involved in the uptake of myelin by phagocytes. Scientific Reports, 7, Article 44794.
    • Wouters, K., Gaens, K., Bijnen, M., Verboven, K., Jocken, J., Wetzels, S., Wijnands, E., Hansen, D., van Greevenbroek, M., Duijvestijn, A. M., Biessen, E. A. L., Blaak, E. E., Stehouwer, C. D. A., & Schalkwijk, C. G. (2017). Circulating classical monocytes are associated with CD11c(+) macrophages in human visceral adipose tissue. Scientific Reports, 7, Article 42665.
    • Wetzels, S., Wouters, K., Schalkwijk, C. G., Vanmierlo, T., & Hendriks, J. J. A. (2017). Methylglyoxal-Derived Advanced Glycation Endproducts in Multiple Sclerosis. International journal of molecular sciences, 18(2), Article 421.
  • 2016
    • Marsch, E., Demandt, J. A. F., Theelen, T. L., Tullemans, B. M. E., Wouters, K., Boon, M. R., van Dijk, T. H., Gijbels, M. J., Dubois, L. J., Meex, S. J. R., Mazzone, M., Hung, G., Fisher, E. A., Biessen, E. A. L., Daemen, M. J. A. P., Rensen, P. C. N., Carmeliet, P., Groen, A. K., & Sluimer, J. C. (2016). Deficiency of the oxygen sensor prolyl hydroxylase 1 attenuates hypercholesterolaemia, atherosclerosis, and hyperglycaemia. European Heart Journal, 37(39), 2993-2997.
    • Klinkenberg, L. J. J., Luyten, P., van der Linden, N., Urgel, K., Snijders, D. P. C., Knackstedt, C., Dennert, R., Kietselaer, B. L. J. H., Mingels, A., Cardinaels, E. P. M., Peeters, F. E. C. M., van Suijlen, J. D. E., ten Kate, J., Marsch, E., Theelen, T. L., Sluimer, J. C., Wouters, K., Bekers, O., Bekkers, B., ... Meex, S. J. R. (2016). Cardiac Troponin T and I Release After a 30-km Run. American Journal of Cardiology, 118(2), 281-287.
    • Maessen, D. E., Brouwers, O., Gaens, K. H., Wouters, K., Cleutjens, J. P., Janssen, B. J., Miyata, T., Stehouwer, C. D., & Schalkwijk, C. G. (2016). Delayed Intervention With Pyridoxamine Improves Metabolic Function and Prevents Adipose Tissue Inflammation and Insulin Resistance in High-Fat Diet-Induced Obese Mice. Diabetes, 65(4), 956-966.
  • 2015
    • Legein, B., Janssen, E. M., Theelen, T. L., Gijbels, M. J., Walraven, J., Klarquist, J. S., Hennies, C. M., Wouters, K., Seijkens, T. T. P., Wijnands, E., Sluimer, J. C., Lutgens, E., Zenke, M., Hildner, K., Biessen, E. A. L., & Temmerman, L. (2015). Ablation of CD8 alpha(+) dendritic cell mediated cross-presentation does not impact atherosclerosis in hyperlipidemic mice. Scientific Reports, 5, Article 15414.
    • Hannou, S. A., Wouters, K., Paumelle, R., & Staels, B. (2015). Functional genomics of the CDKN2A/B locus in cardiovascular and metabolic disease: what have we learned from GWASs?Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, 26(4), 176-184.
  • 2014
    • Hanssen, N. M. J., Brouwers, O., Gijbels, M. J., Wouters, K., Wijnands, E., Cleutjens, J. P. M., De Mey, J. G., Miyata, T., Biessen, E. A., Stehouwer, C. D. A., & Schalkwijk, C. G. (2014). Glyoxalase 1 overexpression does not affect atherosclerotic lesion size and severity in ApoE(-/-) mice with or without diabetes. Cardiovascular Research, 104(1), 160-170.
    • Hanssen, N. M. J., Wouters, K., Huijberts, M. S., Gijbels, M. J., Sluimer, J. C., Scheijen, J. L. J. M., Heeneman, S., Biessen, E. A. L., Daemen, M. J. A. P., Brownlee, M., de Kleijn, D. P., Stehouwer, C. D. A., Pasterkamp, G., & Schalkwijk, C. G. (2014). Higher levels of advanced glycation endproducts in human carotid atherosclerotic plaques are associated with a rupture-prone phenotype. European Heart Journal, 35(17), 1137-1146.
  • 2013
    • Heymans, S., Corsten, M. F., Verhesen, W., Carai, P., van Leeuwen, R. E., Custers, K., Peters, T., Hazebroek, M., Stoger, L., Wijnands, E., Janssen, B. J., Creemers, E. E., Pinto, Y. M., Grimm, D., Schurmann, N., Vigorito, E., Thum, T., Stassen, F. R., Yin, X., ... Schroen, B. L. (2013). Macrophage MicroRNA-155 Promotes Cardiac Hypertrophy and Failure. Circulation, 128(13), 1420-1432.
  • 2012
    • Tailleux, A., Wouters, K., & Staels, B. (2012). Roles of PPARs in NAFLD: potential therapeutic targets. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. Mucoproteins and Mucopolysaccharides, 1821(5), 809-18.
    • Bieghs, V., Verheyen, F., van Gorp, P. J., Hendrikx, T., Wouters, K., Lutjohann, D., Gijbels, M. J., Febbraio, M., Binder, C. J., Hofker, M. H., & Sverdlov, R. (2012). Internalization of modified lipids by cd36 and sr-a leads to hepatic inflammation and lysosomal cholesterol storage in kupffer cells. PLOS ONE, 7(3), Article e34378.
    • Wouters, K., Cudejko, C., Gijbels, M. J. J., Fuentes, L., Bantubungi, K., Vanhoutte, J., Dievart, R., Paquet, C., Bouchaert, E., Hannou, S. A., Gizard, F., Tailleux, A., de Winther, M. P. J., Staels, B., & Paumelle, R. (2012). Bone Marrow p16(INK4a)-Deficiency Does Not Modulate Obesity, Glucose Homeostasis or Atherosclerosis Development. PLOS ONE, 7(3), e32440.