RESEARCH

Hematology, Respiratory Medicine, Rheumatology and Infectious Disease Medicine

Research Summary

Our laboratory is associated with four medical fields, hematology, respiratory tumor, autoimmune diseases, and infectious diseases. As research theme connecting these areas at our graduate school, we are studying biological defense and immunity.
 
Clinical and basic research using human dendritic cells
Dendritic cells (DCs) that govern a variety of effector cells as commander to induce adaptive immunity and enhance innate immune responses in the central of immune surveillance mechanism. In addition, DCs play an important role in the pathogenesis of onset and development of several inflammatory diseases such as allergy and autoimmune diseases. There are two subgroups of myeloid DCs (CD11c+ DC and BDCA3+ DC subsets) and lymphoid DCs (so-called plasmacytoid DC), and our laboratory has a technique to purify and isolate these DC subsets by the peripheral blood. We are proceeding the research using this system to clarify the basic and clinical DC function in the inflammatory diseases and several malignancies up to now. 
 
Thrombomodulin and GVHD
Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is one of the radical treatments for hematological malignancies and refractory blood disease. Control of GVHD, which is one of the major complications after transplantation, would decide the success or failure of the transplantation therapy. Our department, Professor Nomura proposed a concept of the SIGHT; an acronym of SOS (sinusoidal obstruction syndrome, also known as VOD), Infection (infection), GVHD (graft-versus-host disease), HPS (hemophagocytic syndrome), and TMA (thrombotic in microvascular disorder disease), as a keyword that indicates the complications after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. SIGHT is caused by abnormality of hemostasis coagulation system and deeply involved in high cytokine states. Recombinant thrombomodulin (rTM) has been approved as a new therapeutic agent for DIC ahead from Japan to the world. Our department is searching to show the effect of rTM as a treatment or prophylaxis for SOS and TMA. With respect to this study, we made a study group and conducted the research in the clinical and basic level. rTM has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in immune system. However, the mechanism of action is unknown. We, also in this regard, are studying the anti-inflammatory effects of TM for DCs and regulatory T cells, which are involved post-transplant GVHD using human and mouse system.