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Oral Microbiology


In innate immune system a series of molecules recognize microbe-associated molecular patterns (The 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine). NOD1 and NOD2 recognize the peptidoglycan fragments in the bacterial cell walls. NOD1 and NOD2 ligands have been chemically synthesized by Japanese scientists in 1970', and their diverse activities have been reported to date. Based on the recent findings in the field, including ours, we aim to elucidate pathogenesie of chronic inflammatory diseases, especially periodontal diseases, in relation to possible regulation of innate immune responses by bacterial components.
Chronic oral diseases are often implicated in systemic disorders; therefore, maintenance of oral health is an important issue for prevention of systemic disorders. Periodontal disease is a common chronic oral disease; however, it is not clear how periodontal disease results in chronic inflammation. We aim to elucidate the mechanism of chronic allergic inflammation resulting in dysfunction of the epithelial barrier using microbiological and immunological methods.

Faculty configuration

  • Prof.Keiichi SasakiProf.Keiichi Sasaki

Topics of Research

  • Immuno-biological activity of bacterial components, particularly bacterial endotoxin (LPS) and peptidoglycan
  • Elucidation of pathological mechanism of periodontal diseases and chronic infections through innate immunity research
  • Pathogenesis of periodontal diseases based on chronic allergic inflammation in oral mucosa
  • Analysis of resistance properties of cancer's autophagic environment in regard to anticancer drugs
  • A strategy to overcome oral cancer by targeting autophagy factor p62

Recent Performance

  1. Ikeuchi T, Nakamura T, Fukumoto S, Takada H. A vitamin D3 analog augmented interleukin-8 production by human monocytic cells in response to various microbe-related synthetic ligands, especially NOD2 agonistic muramyldipeptide. Int Immunopharmacol. 2013; 15(1): 15-22.
  2. Rikiishi H. Autophagic action of new targeting agents in head and neck oncology. Cancer Biol Ther. 2012; 13(11): 978-991.
  3. Funayama H, Huang L, Asada Y, Endo Y, Takada H. Enhanced induction of a histamine-forming enzyme, histidine decarboxylase, in mice primed with NOD1 or NOD2 ligand in response to various Toll-like receptor agonists. Innate Immunity 2010; 16(4): 265-272.
  4. Suzuki M, Endo M, Shinohara F, Echigo S, Rikiishi H. Differential apoptotic response of human cancer cells to organoselenium compounds. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2010; 66(3): 475-84.
  5. Rikiishi H. Possible role of autophagy in the treatment of pancreatic cancer with histone deacetylase inhibitors. Cancers 2010; 2(4): 2026-2043.
  6. Yano T, Mita S, Ohmori H, Ooshima Y, Fujimoto Y, Ueda R, Takada H, Goldman WE, Fukase K, Silverman N, Yoshimori T, Kurata S. Autophagic control of listeria through intracellular innate immune recognition in drosophila. Nature Immunology 2008; 9(8): 908-916.

Laboratory Contacts

FAX: 022-717-8309