Research FocusCells receive extracellular stimuli and change their functions. We analyze these mechanisms using brain cells (neural stem cells, neurons, glial cells, and brain tumor cells) and extracellular stimuli (neurotransmitters, peptides, neurotrophic factors, growth factors, cytokines, nutrients, temperature change, etc.). We are studying the processes by which biochemical reactions such as changes in intracellular signal transduction systems and changes in metabolism are converted into biological responses such as proliferation and differentiation. Using rodent primary cultures and human iPS cells, we will follow the process of normal development and pathological changes. By comparing the signaling system and metabolic system of normal cells and tumor cells, we elucidate the switch mechanism of proliferation / differentiation of neural stem cells, and feed it back to tumor growth suppression leading to the cancer therapy.
Using neural stem cells of chipmunk, which is a hibernating mammal, we also analyze the mechanism of intracellular metabolic changes due to temperature changes, aiming at application to human cells by approaching the mystery of longevity and carcinogenic resistance of chipmunks.