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[Endowed Chair]Preemptive Medical Pharmacology for Mind and Body

Kasahara EmikoAssociate professor / Lecturer

After graduating from School of Allied Health Science Yamaguchi University, I worked at the JT Pharmaceuticals Research Institute. At JT Pharmaceuticals Research Institute, I was engaged in drug efficacy evaluation for drug discovery. At that time, I recognized the importance of "observing and knowing the pathology" for disease treatment and becoming interested in basic research. At the Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka City University (Prof. Masayasu Inoue), I researched the dynamics of antioxidant metabolism in the body and various pathological conditions induced by failure of this metabolism. After studying at the University of Michigan in the U.S., I received the degree from Osaka Prefecture University and studied at Hyogo Medical College and Osaka City University before assuming my current position. I would like to clarify the mechanism of metabolic changes, which is a "dynamic equilibrium phenomenon" of the body, and its role in stress-related diseases.

Research theme

Neuro-endocrine-mitochondrial network in the stress response system.

The stress response of an organism causes changes in oxygen and nutrient metabolism to maintain homeostasis of vital activities, which is accompanied by changes in the mitochondrial energy metabolism system. We are investigating the effects of changes in the neuro-endocrine system during stress environments on subsequent physical and mental alteration and their relationship to pathological conditions, with a focus on mitochondrial function.

Gender differences in stress response.

Among mental disorders, the incidence of depression is twice as high in women as in men. Although endogenous stress due to hormonal changes and psychogenic stress through life events such as marriage, childbirth, and childcare may be factors in the development of depression, the molecular biological mechanism of depression is fully understood. We would like to clarify the differences in stress responses in male and female mice and the effects of different stress responses on behavioral patterns, and to establish gender-appropriate prevention, diagnosis, and treatment methods.

Stress response and regulation of iron metabolism

Iron in the body plays a variety of roles, including oxygen delivery, redox reactions, cell proliferation, and infection defenses. Therefore, living organisms have a system that strictly regulates the amount of iron. When iron metabolism is impaired, it not only causes various symptoms such as anemia, malaise, and fatigue, but also has been reported to be involved in mental disorders. We have been investigating the effects of stress on the regulation of iron metabolism and the relationship between stress-induced pathology and iron metabolism in mice.

Representative achievements

Effects of Importin α1/KPNA1 deletion and adolescent social isolation stress on psychiatric disorder-associated behaviors in mice.
PLoS One.16(11),2021

Decreased Colonic Guanylin/Uroguanylin Expression and Dried Stool Property in Mice With Social Defeat Stress
Front Physiol,11:599582, 2020

Stress-Induced Glucocorticoid Release Upregulates Uncoupling Protein-2 Expression and Enhances Resistance to Endotoxin-Induced Lethality.
Neuroimmunomodulation. (5):279-92. 2015

Cross-talk between HPA-axis-increased glucocorticoids and mitochondrial stress determines immune responses and clinical manifestations of patients with sepsis. (Review) Redox Rep. 20, 1-10. 2015 Kasahara E, Inoue M.

Role of Adrenocorticotropic Hormone in the Modulation of Pollinosis Induced by Pollen Antigens.
Neuroimmunomodulation. 22, 256-262.2015

Gender difference in tumor necrosis factor-α production in human neutrophils stimulated by lipopolysaccharide and interferon-γ
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 441, 220-225 2013

Mitochondrial density contributes to immune response of macrophages to lipopolysaccharide via a MAPK pathway.
FEBS Letter. 585, 2263-2268. 2011

Mitochondria determine the efficacy of anticancer agents that interact with DNA but not the cytoskeleton.
J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 337, 838-845. 2011