Erythrocytes and extracellular vesicles: not only transporters in the circulation

Scientific Meeting Genootschap

On Monday 18 April 2016 you are welcome at the Scientific Meeting of the Genootschap. The theme of the meeting is “Erythrocytes and extracellular vesicles: not only transporters in the circulation”

Datum18 april 2016
Tijd17:30 – 20:00


  • dr. Robin van Bruggen, senior scientist department Blood Cell Research, Sanquin 
    Red blood cells; more than just oxygen carriers
  • dr. Rienk Nieuwland, Cardiovascular diseases, AMC 
    Blood, sweat and tears

Programme and location

You are welcome from 17.30h for coffee, tea, and sandwiches. The lectures will start at 18.00h and end around 19.30h. After the lectures drinks will be served.

The location is Auditorium Sanquin, Plesmanlaan 125, 1066 CX Amsterdam. Sanquin has ample parking facilities. To use these, please contact the reception of Sanquin and indicate that you are attending the scientific meeting.

Directions to Sanquin

Target group

The meeting is open for members of the Genootschap, employees and PhD-students from AMC, FNWI, and ACTA


We would like to ask you to register for this meeting via



Rienk Nieuwland (AMC): “Blood, sweat and tears”

Only since the mid-1990’s extracellular vesicles have gained scientific and clinical interest. We have learned that bacteria and eukaryotic cells release vesicles into their environment. Such vesicles are abundantly present in many fluids ranging from blood to ocean water. Because in human blood the concentration, composition, cellular origin and function of vesicles change in diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, vesicles have become a “hot topic”.

In physiological conditions human blood contains vesicles providing a coagulant surface. Such blood-borne vesicles do not expose tissue factor (TF), a transmembrane protein that initiates blood clotting. In contrast, human saliva contains vesicles exposing TF which markedly accelerate blood clotting and may explain the reflex of licking a wound. Because TF-exposing vesicles are also present in urine, sweat and tears, we hypothesize that these fluids form a “haemostatic envelope” that protects the organism by reducing the risk of infection. In pathological conditions as cancer and sepsis, however, TF-exposing vesicles are present within the blood where they are associated with thrombosis and bleeding.

Increasing evidence suggest that vesicles may also have numerous other functions, including cellular waste management and intercellular communication. Consequently, vesicles may be clinically useful as biomarkers, autologous drug vehicles, etc.

Taken together, an entirely new field of research has been revealed, which may explain hitherto unanswered questions ranging from licking a wound to understanding organ-specific tumour metastasis.