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Tokyo, Japan

Showa University is a private university in Japan with campuses in Tokyo, Yamanashi. and Kanagawa Prefectures. What was to become today's Showa University was founded in 1928 as Showa Medical School ; it was renamed Showa Medical University in 1946 before becoming Showa University in 1964. It now shares one its buildings with the British School in Tokyo. It also has affiliated hospitals. Wikipedia.


Aoshima Y.,Showa University
Nephrology, dialysis, transplantation : official publication of the European Dialysis and Transplant Association - European Renal Association | Year: 2012

Vascular calcification is a highly regulated process. Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) has been shown to accelerate the highly regulated osteogenic process in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Vitamin D receptor activators (VDRAs) have been associated with beneficial cardiovascular outcomes in patients with chronic kidney disease. We examined whether maxacalcitol, a vitamin D(3) analog, exhibits a suppressive effect on VSMC mineralization induced by phosphate and TNF-α. Human VSMCs were treated with either vehicle, maxacalcitol (10(-9) to 10(-7) M), or calcitriol (10(-9) to 10(-7) M) in 2.5 mM of phosphate media with TNF-α (1 ng/mL) for 9 days. VSMC mineralization was determined and expression of genes associated with the osteogenic process was examined by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) messenger RNA (mRNA) in VSMCs and MMP-2 protein in media was also analyzed. Vehicle-treated VSMCs exhibited massive mineralization, which was inhibited by maxacalcitol in a concentration-dependent manner. Calcitriol also inhibited the mineralization. While vehicle-treated VSMCs exhibited increased mRNA expression of genes associated with the osteogenic process (Cbfa1/Runx2 and osteocalcin) compared with VSMCs grown in normal media without TNF-α (control), maxacalcitol and calcitriol suppressed the increase in mRNA species. Furthermore, vehicle-treated VSMCs exhibited increased MMP-2 mRNA and protein in the media that were suppressed notably by maxacalcitol. Both the VDRAs abrogated the acceleration of the osteogenic process induced by phosphate and TNF-α in VSMCs, which was linked to inhibition of mineralization in VSMCs. MMP-2 blockade by VDRAs may contribute to an inhibitory effect on vascular calcification.


Dobashi K.,Showa University
Journal of Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis | Year: 2016

To prevent obesity in middle age, early precautions and interventions are required during childhood. Therefore, it is very important to accurately evaluate the degree of overweight in children. Body mass index (BMI) is widely used worldwide in adults, but not in children. Because standard BMI, which is calculated using the average height and weight for age, changes widely during growth, a constant cut-off point cannot be set for children. An international unified method defining childhood obesity has not been established. In many countries, BMI-for-age percentile (BMI%) value or Z (standard deviation) score is used, whereas in Japan, the percentage of overweight (POW), which is the modified weight-for-height method, is used. We compared BMI% values with POW values obtained using the anthropometric data of elementary and junior high school students based on the Japanese school survey conducted in 2000 and found that the values for the degree of overweight were significantly different between the two methods. It became clear that tall students were easily defined as being overweight, whereas short students tended to be evaluated as being underweight when using BMI%. POW method seemed to be more appropriate than BMI% for school-age children. Abdominal obesity, excess visceral adipose tissue (VAT), is highly associated with obesityrelated complications. Waist circumference (WC) is now accepted as an appropriate guide to VAT accumulation. The cut-off value of WC defining excess VAT is 80 cm at the umbilical level in Japanese school-age children. It is not easy to decide the obesity criteria and optimum WC in school-age children. Childhood obesity should be discussed more internationally. © 2016, Japan Atherosclerosis Society. All rights reserved.


Yamaguchi T.,Showa University
Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin | Year: 2010

The surfaces of lipid droplets (LDs) constitute major sites of regulated accumulation and degradation of lipid in cells, and hence play important roles in lipid homeostasis of the whole body. CGI-58 (also called α/ β hydrolase domain-containing protein 5 (ABHD5)) is a member of the α/ β-hydrolase family of proteins and is a product of the causal gene of Chanarin-Dorfman syndrome (CDS), which is characterized by excessive storage of triacylglycerol (TG) in various tissues. CGI-58 is distributed predominantly on the surface of LDs and plays a crucial role in TG degradation in cells. In the process of lipolysis, CGI-58 coordinates with several proteins, including perilipin, a member of the PAT family of proteins, and adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL), a putative rate-limiting enzyme for TG degradation in adipocytes. Besides its role in adipocytes, CGI-58 is involved in lipid degradation in various tissues, including those of skin and liver. This review focuses on the functions and protein interactions of CGI-58 on the surface of LDs in the regulation of fat mobilization in cells. © 2010 Pharmaceutical Society of Japan.


Mochizuki A.,Showa University
PloS one | Year: 2012

Cells with monocyte/macrophage lineage expressing receptor activator of NF-κB (RANK) differentiate into osteoclasts following stimulation with the RANK ligand (RANKL). Cell adhesion signaling is also required for osteoclast differentiation from precursors. However, details of the mechanism by which cell adhesion signals induce osteoclast differentiation have not been fully elucidated. To investigate the participation of cell adhesion signaling in osteoclast differentiation, mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMMs) were used as osteoclast precursors, and cultured on either plastic cell culture dishes (adherent condition) or the top surface of semisolid methylcellulose gel loaded in culture tubes (non-adherent condition). BMMs cultured under the adherent condition differentiated into osteoclasts in response to RANKL stimulation. However, under the non-adherent condition, the efficiency of osteoclast differentiation was markedly reduced even in the presence of RANKL. These BMMs retained macrophage characteristics including phagocytic function and gene expression profile. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and tumor necrosis factor -αTNF-α activated the NF-κB-mediated signaling pathways under both the adherent and non-adherent conditions, while RANKL activated the pathways only under the adherent condition. BMMs highly expressed RANK mRNA and protein under the adherent condition as compared to the non-adherent condition. Also, BMMs transferred from the adherent to non-adherent condition showed downregulated RANK expression within 24 hours. In contrast, transferring those from the non-adherent to adherent condition significantly increased the level of RANK expression. Moreover, interruption of cell adhesion signaling by echistatin, an RGD-containing disintegrin, decreased RANK expression in BMMs, while forced expression of either RANK or TNFR-associated factor 6 (TRAF6) in BMMs induced their differentiation into osteoclasts even under the non-adherent condition. These results suggest that cell adhesion signaling regulates RANK expression in osteoclast precursors.


The number of patients suffering from trichloroethylene (TCE)-related severe skin disorders with liver dysfunction has been increasing in developing countries in Asia, especially since the mid-1990s. In Japan, five cases of this disease have been reported, but none since the 1990s. However, two additional cases were recently observed in Tokyo. The published work and our investigation indicated that oxidative metabolites of TCE, which might include trichloroacetylated-protein adducts, could induce a generalized skin eruption. Furthermore, human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-B*1301 and HLA-B*44 were identified as markers of individual susceptibility to TCE-induced hypersensitivity syndrome (HS). Moreover, polymorphism of aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), the major enzyme in TCE metabolism, appeared to be associated with TCE-induced HS. Interestingly, this disorder is quite similar to drug-induced hypersensitivity syndrome (DIHS), also referred to as drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), from the perspective of the onset of the reaction after exposure to TCE/drugs, clinical manifestations, blood examination and period of virus reactivation. This article reviews the similarity between TCE-related HS and DIHS/DRESS. © 2011 Japanese Dermatological Association.

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