Roos Vandenbroucke Lab

Research focus

Tight barriers form the major protection for the brain against external insults such as toxins, infectious agents and peripheral blood fluctuations. These brain barriers are a central part of the brain homeostasis mechanism and assure a balanced and well-controlled micro-environment around synapses and axons in the central nervous system (CNS). Although largely understudied, the choroid plexus epithelium, forming the blood-cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) barrier, is an important and unique single layer of epithelial cells situated at the interface between blood and brain. Subtle changes in the choroid plexus epithelial cells, via changes in the CSF composition, have wide-ranging effects on the brain and will subsequently affect disease progression. Therefore, understanding blood-CSF barrier functionality under physiological and pathophysiological conditions might open up new therapeutic strategies to treat inflammatory diseases.

Our research focuses on the effect of systemic inflammation (including sepsis/SIRS or other inflammatory stimuli such as (inflamm)aging) and neuroinflammation (such as the age-related diseases Alzheimerʼs and Parkinson's disease) on the blood-CSF barrier.

We currently have different research lines:

(1) We study the key molecules that play a role in the activated detrimental processes at the blood-CSF barrier upon inflammation, focusing on barrier integrity, extracellular vesicles (exosomes), and acute phase response.

(2) We study whether the choroid plexus is ʽthe missing linkʼ in the body-to-brain axis, due to its unique position between blood and brain. Hereto, we are investigating whether peripheral inflammatory triggers, e.g. from the gastrointestinal system (gut-brain axis), affect the choroid plexus epithelium and consequently increase the sensitivity for the development of neuroinflammatory diseases.

(3) We explore whether the blood-CSF barrier can be used as a delivery route to the brain​.

VRT news: Roosmarijn Vandenbroucke won the Baillet Latour Grant in 2017


Counteracting the effects of TNF receptor-1 has therapeutic potential in Alzheimer's diseaseSteeland S* Gorle N* Vandendriessche C* Balusu S Brkic M Van Cauwenberghe C Van Imschoot G Van Wonterghem E De Rycke R Kremer A Lippens S Stopa E Johanson C Libert C Vandenbroucke REMBO Molecular Medicine, 10, e8300, 2018* or °: authors contributed equally
The choroid plexus epithelium as a novel player in the stomach-brain axis during Helicobacter infectionGorlé N Blaecher C Bauwens E Vandendriessche C Balusu S Vandewalle J Van Cauwenberghe C Van Wonterghem E Van Imschoot G Liu C Ducatelle R Libert C Haesebrouck F* Smet A* Vandenbroucke R*BRAIN BEHAVIOR AND IMMUNITY, 69, 35-47, 2018* or °: authors contributed equally
Identification of a novel mechanism of blood-brain communication during peripheral inflammation via choroid plexus-derived extracellular vesiclesBalusu Sriram Van Wonterghem Elien De Rycke Riet Raemdonck Koen Stremersch Stephan Gevaert Kris Brkic Marjana Demeestere Delphine Vanhooren Valerie Hendrix An Libert Claude° Vandenbroucke Roosmarijn@EMBO Molecular Medicine, 8, 1162-1183, 2016* or °: authors contributed equally@: corresponding authors
Amyloid beta Oligomers Disrupt Blood-CSF Barrier Integrity by Activating Matrix MetalloproteinasesBrkic M* Balusu S* Van Wonterghem E Gorlé N Benilova I Kremer A Van Hove I Moons L De Strooper B Kanazir S Libert C* Vandenbroucke R*JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE, 35, 12766-78, 2015* or °: authors contributed equally
Is there new hope for therapeutic matrix metalloproteinase inhibition?Vandenbroucke Roosmarijn Libert ClaudeNATURE REVIEWS DRUG DISCOVERY, 13, 904-27, 2014

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9 VIB researchers received funding from the Alzheimer Foundation

21/03/2019 - VIB is very grateful to the Alzheimer Research Foundation for funding the researchers received, which helps them in their quest for cures. The ​Foundation has been fighting Alzheimer's disease for years and is working on a future without dementia.

Counteracting the effects of TNF receptor-1 has therapeutic potential in Alzheimer’s disease

22/02/2018 - Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia and increasing evidence has shown that neuroinflammation is an important and early hallmark of the pathogenesis.

The Baillet Latour Grant 2017 for Medical Research awarded to professor Roosmarijn Vandenbroucke (VIB-UGent)

20/04/2017 - This year the Grant is awarded to Professor Roosmarijn Vandenbroucke for her research project in the field of neurological diseases. Delivery of therapeutics into the brain to treat neurological diseases remains a major, unsolved challenge.

New Horizon 2020 Project B-SMART Develops RNA-based Therapy for Neurodegenerative Diseases

01/02/2017 - Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s affect over 7 million people in Europe – a figure which is expected to double every 20 years as the population ages and thus poses a significant healthcare burden to European society.

Belgian scientists discover missing link in septic shock

14/09/2016 - VIB & Ghent University Researchers discovered important mechanism of sepsis, an overreaction of the body’s immune system to an infection. In this condition, the brain is unable to curb an inflammatory response, causing organ failure or ‘septic shock’.

Disruption of brain-blood barrier might influence progression of Alzheimer’s

29/09/2015 - The team of Roosmarijn Vandenbroucke in the Claude Libert Group (VIB/UGent) combined their knowledge and expertise related to inflammation with the expertise in Alzheimer’s disease present in the Bart De Strooper Group (VIB/KU Leuven).

New breakthroughs in TNF biology

19/09/2013 - Two new stories from the group of Claude Libert (VIB - UGent) increase our knowledge about the mechanism of TNF release, the role of the gutin TNF’s acute toxicity and the value of TNFR1 as adrug target.

Roosmarijn Vandenbroucke

Roosmarijn Vandenbroucke

Research area(s)

Model organism(s)


​PhD: Ghent Univ., Ghent, Belgium, 2008
Postdoc: ​Ghent Univ., Ghent, Belgium
Professor at Ghent Univ. since 2015
VIB Group leader as of March 2018

Contact Info

VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation ResearchUGent-VIB Research Building FSVMTechnologiepark 71 9052 GENTRoute description