research theme

画像なし 画像なし 画像なし 画像なし 画像なし

 It is known that immunological abnormalities manifested in the oral region can be important clues to systemic disorders. It has also been reported that many systemic immunological diseases appear as various different pathological conditions in the oral mucosa. Dry mouth, one of the symptoms for the organ specific autoimmune disease Sjogren's syndrome (SS), recurrent apthous ulcers of oral mucosa from the incurable disease Behcets syndrome, oral cancer and viral infections such as herpes viruses and papilloma viruses, and Epstein-Barr virus reactivation of the salivary gland can be defined as incurable diseases in the oral region caused by immune dysfunction. However diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for these immunological diseases have not been established and full-scale efforts have yet to be accomplished. The objective of our lab is through comprehensive research, to elucidate the onset mechanism etiology of incurable oral immunological diseases and to develop diagnostic and therapeutic strategies based on that.

Development of therapeutic strategies and elucidation of the pathological formation mechanism and etiology of Sjogren's syndrome

 Sjogren's syndrome is an autoimmune disease characterized by inflammation of the exocrine glands and systemic production of autoantibodies. The characteristic sicca symptoms of dry eyes and dry mouth are due to a primary pathological process in the lacrimal and salivary glands. Several reports have suggested that viral infection could be involved in the induction of SS, however, the causative agent of this disease remains obscure and it is necessary to establish accurate and specific diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. In our present search, if we can specify the disease specific gene for human Sjogren's syndrome, it will be possible to make a highly accurate and specific diagnosis. Through screening the candidate gene, we think it will be possible to identify those at risk and prevent the onset of this disease. Also, gene therapy of the gene could be applied and we aim to continue searching to develop effective therapeutic strategies to replace the palliative treatment which has been used up until now.

Analysis of the mechanism of differentiation and growth of exocrine gland and application for regenerative medicine.

 Our goal is, in the investigation of self-tissue regeneration, to artificially build organs which have been lost due to various diseases and to restore their physiological functions. It is thought that this is one epoch-making treatment which could take the place of the palliative treatment of medication and imperfect artificial organs and immunological rejection of transplant organs which has been the norm up until now. The rapid progress in this field is supported by recent embryological and molecular biological findings and through the discovery of the gene which regulates morphogenesis and identification of the factor which induces cell growth, three dimensional rebuilding is becoming possible but findings for the salivary gland and other exocrine glands are very scarce. Our research objective is the regeneration of lacrimal and salivary glands whose function has been lost or severely damaged from diseases such as Steven-Johnson's syndrome and Sjogren's syndrome, and the reorganization of surviving gland tissue. We have been engaged for many years in the etiological study of the exocrine glands, particularly gland system hypofunction from the autoimmune disease, Sjogren's syndrome, and have worked to clarify the tissue destruction mechanism. On the other hand, it is known that there are many patients whose everyday life is disrupted from extreme dry symptoms due to lacrimal, salivary and other endocrine gland hypofunction from not only Sjogren's syndrome but also irradiation treatment for cancer of the head and neck or unknown causative agents but there is no specific therapeutic strategy. Because of this, by clarifying the gland tissue regeneration mechanism and through three dimensional reconstruction of the gland in vivo, if physiological recovery is possible, then a spearhead approach to practical usage can be made.