About UsDepartmentsInternational Symposium on Traditional Medicine in ToyamaMuseum of Materia Medica

Division of Gastrointestinal Pathophysiology, Department of Bioscience

TEL: 076-434-7641; Fax: 076-434-5066
[English] http://www.inm.u-toyama.ac.jp/en/departments/06_gp.html
[Japanese] http://www.inm.u-toyama.ac.jp/jp/departments/06_gp.html
[Website of the Division] http://www.inm.u-toyama.ac.jp/ens/index-j.html

Professor Makoto Kadowaki
Makoto Kadowaki, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor Takeshi Yamamoto
Assistant Professor
Takeshi Yamamoto, Ph. D.
Assistant Professor Takeshi Yamamoto
Assistant Professor
Shusaku Hayashi, Ph. D.

Research Outline

The major aim in our laboratory is to clarify the pathogenesis and mechanisms underlying gastrointestinal disorders, especially enteric immune diseases using molecular biological, pharmacological, pathophysiological, immunological, morphological, and neurological techniques in the experimental models and cultured immune cells. Further, to integrate knowledge from experimental models to human diseases, our laboratory is engaged in the search for new seeds of the therapeutic medicines including Japanese traditional medicine (Kampo) and new concept of the therapeutic mechanisms based on our experiments.
The enteric nervous system along with the rest of the autonomic nervous system regulates the processes of digestion, nutrient absorption, and waste elimination. On the other hand, the mucosal immune system within the gut not only provides a first line of defense, but also suppresses immune responses to ingested food antigens and intestinal microflora leading to oral tolerance. In states of enteric immune diseases, such as ulcerative colitis or food allergy, various features of gut function, including motility, secretion and sensitivity are altered. The recent evidences for various direct nerve innervations of mast cells and other immune cells in the gut mucosa suggest that homeostatic regulation in the gut involves not only conventional neuro-effector functions but also neuro-immune interactions. Thus, for the maintenance of homeostasis in the living body, the gut is equipped with the highly organized mucosal intranet of the enteric nervous system and the enteric immune system.

1. Development of experimental models of the enteric immune diseases.
Our research focus is mainly on the investigation of food allergy and ulcerative colitis. These two enteric immune diseases have similar immunological profiles (Th2 related diseases in the whole-body immune system). There were few useful experimental models of these diseases and so the pathogenic mechanisms underlying these diseases remain poorly understood. Therefore, we are addressing the development of animal models for the translational research.

2. Clarification of the pathogenesis and mechanism underlying the enteric immune diseases.
We are investigating the enteric immune diseases mainly from the viewpoint of disruption of “enteric intranet” organized by the enteric immune system, enteric nervous system and enteric endocrine system.

3. Search for new seeds of the therapeutic medicine on the enteric immune diseases.
Until now, there is no useful and selective therapeutic medicine for the enteric immune diseases. To break an innovative medicine, our laboratory is searching for new seeds, particularly from kampo medicines.

  Enteric immune diseases, Foof allergy, Inflammatory bowel diseases, Colitis-associated cancer, Mucosal immne system, Enteric nervous sytem, Enteric intranet, Neuroimmune crosstalk

The number of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (left) and CD4+helper Tlymphocytes (right) are increased in the colon of ulcerative colitis model mouse.