Field of Study
Neuroscience, Molecular Biology
Neurotrophic factor, 3' end processing, cortical development, neurodevelopmental disorders
脳の発生・発達と中枢神経疾患を “神経栄養因子” で語り、医療に役立てる。

Basic and pre-clinical research on the function of neurotrophic factors in the development and pathology of the central nervous system
  • 教授 福光 秀文 Professor Fukumitsu Hidefumi Ph.D. hfukumi
  • 准教授 本田 岳夫 Associate Professor Honda Takao Ph.D. honda-ta
  • 講師 宗宮 仁美 Associate Professor Soumiya Hitomi Ph.D. somiya

研究テーマ Research Subjects

 分子生物学研究室では長年にわたりニューロンの発生、分化促進や生存維持、シナプス可塑性を含む神経機能の維持に働く、神経栄養因子に関する研究に取り組んでいる。近年は、遺伝子発現の多彩な制御機構にも注目し、その神経機能における役割の解明にも力を入れている。また、この 2 本柱の基礎研究の成果に基づき、精神・神経疾患の病因解明や治療薬の開発をめざした応用研究を展開している。たとえば、神経栄養因子様の細胞内シグナルを生成する蜂産品、低分子化合物、神経栄養因子を豊富に産生する細胞を精神疾患、脊髄損傷などの治療に応用する研究を行っている(Fig. 1 )。最近、間葉系幹細胞の 1 種であるヒト歯髄細胞が神経栄養因子の発現・分泌を介して損傷脊髄の修復作用を示すことを見出し、その移植によりヒトの脊髄損傷を治療するべく、同細胞の補助・強化薬開発を目指した研究を進めている(Fig. 2 )。脊髄損傷の治療法は確立しておらず、この研究は臨床医学的に大きな期待を集めている。

Over many years we have carried out researches about neurotrophic factors, biologically active proteins that act on promoting neuronal generation, differentiation and maintaining neuronal functions including synaptic plasticity in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology. We have recently interested and investigated in large varieties of mechanisms regulating gene expression in the central nervous system. Based on results from two main topics of basic researches, investigations aimed to elucidate etiology of and develop therapeutic drugs for neurological or psychiatric disorders are performed. For instance, the low-molecular-weight compounds that mimic neurotrophic factor activities have been invented and tested their efficacy for the disease model animals of depression, spinal cord injury and neurodevelopmental disorders (Fig. 1 ). Our research includes objects to clarify biological activities of the bee products, royal jelly and propolis and their components, and apply them for human health promotion and clinical usage. In addition, we are working on a clinical project aimed to treat human spinal cord injury by transplantation of the human dental pulp cells (Fig. 2 ). As treatment of the spinal cord injury has not yet been established, this research project is greatly expected.


研究課題 Research Objectives

  1. 神経栄養因子の医学的応用に関する研究
    Investigations aimed at clinical application of neurotrophic factors
  2. 発生・発達脳、病態脳における mRNA 前駆体の 3 ′- 末端修飾の役割に関する研究
    Investigation for biological roles of the pre-mRNA 3 ′-end processing in the functional development of the mammalian brain and in the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders
  3. 体性感覚と情動の神経回路の発達に関する研究
    Investigation for the neurocircuit development of somatosensory and emotional systems.
  4. 脊髄病変に対する基礎 / 非臨床研究
    Basic/pre-clinical investigations for spinal cord disease

最近の研究成果 Research Results

  1. Murasawa H, Kobayashi H, Imai J, Nagase T, Soumiya H, Fukumitsu H. Substantial acetylcholine reduction in multiple brain regions of Mecp2-deficient female rats and associated behavioral abnormalities. PLos One. 16 (10) e0258830 (2021).
  2. Sakade Y, Yamanaka K, Soumiya H, Furukawa S, Fukumitsu H. Exposure to valproic acid during middle to latestage corticogenesis induces learning and social behavioral abnormalities with attention deficit/hyperactivity in adult mice. Biomed Res. 40 (5), 179-188 (2019).
  3. Soumiya H, Araiso H, Furukawa S, Fukumitsu H. Pyrroloquinoline quinone improves abnormal functional development of whisker-mediated tactile perception and social behaviors caused by neonatal whisker trimming. Neurosci Lett. 705,67-73 (2019).
  4. Sugiyama K, Nagashima K, Miwa T, Shimizu Y, Kawaguchi T, Iida K, Tamaoki N, Hatakeyama D, Aoki H, Abe C, Morita H, Kunisada T, Shibata T, Fukumitsu H, Tezuka KI. FGF2-responsive genes in human dental pulp cells assessed using a rat spinal cord injury model. J Bone Miner Metab. 37 (3), 467-474 (2019).
  5. Nagashima K, Miwa T, Soumiya H, Ushiro D, Takeda-Kawaguchi T, Tamaoki N, Ishiguro S, Sato Y, Miyamoto K, Ohno T, Osawa M, Kunisada T, Shibata T, Tezuka KI, Furukawa S, Fukumitsu H., Priming with FGF2 stimulates human dental pulp cells to promote axonal regeneration and locomotor function recovery after spinal cord injury. Sci Rep. 7:13500 (2017).