Ikuo Imazeki

Jichi Medical University, Totigi, Tochigi, Japan

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Publications (11)40.13 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Vitamin D plays a major role in mineral and skeletal homeostasis through interaction with the nuclear vitamin D receptor (VDR) of target cells. Recent reports have indicated that some cellular effects of vitamin D may occur via alternative signaling pathways, but concrete evidence for mineral homeostasis has not been shown in vivo. To investigate this issue, the actions of calcitriol (1,25D) and maxacalcitol (OCT), which were developed for treatment of uremia-induced secondary hyperparathyroidism, were analyzed in VDR knockout (VDR(-/-)) mice. The VDR(-/-) mice were fed a rescue diet immediately after weaning. 1,25D, OCT or a control solution was administered intraperitoneally to these mice three times a week for eight weeks. Biological markers and bone growth were measured and bone histomorphometric analysis of the calcein-labeled tibia was performed 24 h after the final administration. Significantly higher levels of serum Ca(2+) were observed in 1,25D- and OCT-treated mice, but the serum parathyroid hormone level was unchanged by both agents. Impaired bone growth, enlarged and distorted cartilaginous growth plates, morphological abnormalities of cancellous and cortical bones; a morbid osteoid increase, lack of calcein labeling, and thinning of cortical bone, were all significantly improved by 1,25D and OCT. The significance of these effects was confirmed by bone histomorphometrical analysis. Upregulation of the calbindin D(9k) mRNA expression level in the duodenum may explain these findings, since this protein is a major modulator of Ca transport in the small intestine. We conclude that 1,25D and OCT both at a high dose exert significant effects on Ca and skeletal homeostasis with the principal improvement of Ca status in VDR(-/-) mice, and some of these effects may occur through an alternative vitamin D signaling pathway.
    Bone 08/2009; 45(5):964-71. · 4.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Controlling hyperplasia of the parathyroid gland (PTG) is important in the management of secondary hyperparathyroidism (SHPT). Regression of the hyperplastic PTG requires a decrease in the number of parathyroid cells (PTCs), so the present study investigated cell death caused by toxic agents or by clinically usable vitamin D metabolites. The PTGs of Sprague-Dawley rats, which had been 5/6-nephrectomized and fed a high-phosphate diet for 12 weeks, were treated with two consecutive direct injections (DI) of calcitriol, maxacalcitol, paricalcitol, doxercalciferol or phosphate-buffered saline containing either 0.01% or 90% ethanol (0.01-ET or 90-ET, respectively). Laboratory data, including serum levels of intact parathyroid hormone (intact-PTH), were obtained before and after the treatments. The PTGs were excised 24 h after the final injection and evaluated for PTC apoptosis using light and electron microscopy, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end-labelling (TUNEL) method and DNA electrophoresis. Treatment with any of the vitamin D metabolites and 90-ET significantly decreased the serum intact-PTH level, but only the latter significantly decreased the serum Ca level. Either treatment markedly increased the number of TUNEL-positive PTCs, but not in PTG treated with 0.01-ET. In PTGs treated with DI of any vitamin D metabolites was there ladder formation on DNA electrophoresis, as well as the characteristic morphological features of apoptosis in both the light and electron microscopic studies. DI of vitamin D metabolites may be effective in controlling not only the PTH level, but also PTG hyperplasia, in advanced SHPT by, at least in part, apoptosis-induced cell death. Our study was performed in rats.
    Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 06/2008; 23(5):1529-36. · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Injection of maxacalcitol (OCT) directly into the parathyroid gland (PTG) is a clinically safe and effective treatment for advanced secondary hyperparathyroidism (A-SHPT) resistant to conventional medical treatment. In the present study, the degree of nuclear localization of directly injected OCT in parathyroid cells (PTC) was investigated by microautoradiography (mARG) in a model of A-SHPT. The 5/6 nephrectomized Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a high-phosphate and low-calcium diet for 8 weeks and consequently the level of vitamin D receptor (VDR) in their PTC severely decreased. The bilateral PTG were surgically exposed and only the left gland were directly injected with 3H-OCT (DI-3H-OCT). The time course of the changes in both radioactivity and localization of 3H-OCT in the bilateral glands was analysed using a bioimaging analyser system and mARG, respectively. A very high dose of unlabelled calcitriol was administered intravenously (IV-1,25D3) prior to DI-3H-OCT, as a competitive study. Peak radioactivity levels in the directly injected and intact PTG occured immediately and 1 h, respectively, after DI-3H-OCT, and the difference was about 50-fold higher in the treated gland. The of mARG showed a marked concentration of silver grains in the nuclei of PTC in the gland treated with DI-3H-OCT and that concentration was significantly suppressed by IV-1,25D3. Direct injection of OCT into the PTG enables the administration of the highly concentrated drug for specific binding to nuclear vitamin D binding sites, including VDR of PTC, which markedly suppresses the parathyroid hormone, improves the response to calcium and vitamin D and induces apoptosis in PTC.
    Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 05/2007; 22(4):1078-86. · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Direct maxacalcitol (OCT) injection into a parathyroid gland (PTG) ameliorates several important etiologic factors of resistance to medical treatments for secondary hyperparathyroidism (s-HPT): the upregulations of vitamin D receptor (VDR) and Ca-sensing receptor (CaSR) in PTGs and the regression of PTG hyperplasia by the induction of apoptosis. In this study, we evaluated the bone histomorphology on the basis of maintaining these effects in advanced s-HPT. Five/six nephrectomized Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a high-phosphorus and low-calcium diet for 8 weeks. These rats were divided into four treatment groups: (1) basic uremic (at the baseline), (2) direct OCT single injection into PTGs (DI-OCT) followed by OCT intravenous administration for 4 weeks (IV-OCT), (3) direct vehicle injection and IV-OCT, and (4) no treatment for an additional 4 weeks. The effects of these treatments on serum intact-parathyroid hormone (PTH) level, PTG weight, VDR and CaSR expression levels in PTGs, and bone histomorphometric parameters were investigated. In the DI-OCT+IV-OCT group, the significant decrease in serum intact-PTH level was maintained by the following IV-OCT. A significant decrease in PTG weight and the upregulations of VDR and CaSR expression levels in PTGs were also observed. Bone histomorphometric analysis showed significant improvements in osteitis fibrosa in both cancellous and cortical bones. However, these findings were not observed in the other groups. These results suggest that osteitis fibrosa caused by advanced s-HPT can be successfully reversed by a control of PTH at an appropriate level through the improvement of PTG hyperplasia as induced by DI-OCT+IV-OCT.
    Kidney International 09/2006; 70(3):486-95. · 8.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Various dendritic cell subsets are induced from bone marrow cells under different cytokine conditions. We have demonstrated previously that the Th1-cytokine-conditioned bone marrow-derived dendritic cell (BMDC) subset BMDC1 (generated in the presence of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor [GM-CSF] + interleukin [IL]-3 + interferon [IFN]-gamma+ IL-12) induces a much stronger type 1 immune response than BMDC0 (GM-CSF + IL-3). In the present study, we investigated the effect of 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamine D3 (VitD3), which is a known immunomodulating drug, on the differentiation of BMDC subsets. The addition of VitD3 significantly influenced the functional differentiation of BMDC1 compared with BMDC0. Specifically, the addition of VitD3 greatly decreased the expression levels of MHC class I, CD80, CD40 and leukocyte function-associated antigen (LFA)-1 molecules on BMDC1. In addition, VitD3-treated BMDC1 (VD3-BMDC1) almost completely lost their immunostimulating activity for inducing type 1 immunity and cytotoxic T lymphocyte generation. A failure in the induction of type 1 immunity by VD3-BMDC1 appeared to be due to the following: (i) the expression of co-stimulatory molecules on VD3-BMDC1 was strongly downmodulated compared with BMDC1 generated without VitD3; and (ii) VD3-BMDC1 showed significantly lower mRNA expression of IFN-gamma and IFN-beta, factors that are essential for cytotoxic T lymphocyte induction. VitD3 inhibited the differentiation of functionally competent BMDC1 during the early phase of differentiation but not during the late differentiation period. A possible reason for the inhibition of BMDC1 differentiation by VitD3 is reduced phosphorylation of STAT1 during early differentiation. Taken together, VitD3 strongly suppressed T-cell responses by inhibiting functional differentiation of precursor dendritic cells into functional BMDC1 that are feasible for inducing Th1-dependent cellular immunity.
    Cancer Science 03/2006; 97(2):139-47. · 3.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 1 alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [Calcitriol or 1,25(OH)(2)D(3)] is an important active metabolite involved in multiple functions but its calcemic effect in vivo limits its therapeutic applications. On the other hand, 22-oxa-1 alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (22-oxacalcitriol or 22-Oxa-1 alpha,25-D(3)), a low calcemic analog of vitamin D3 (VitD3), has been widely used as a drug for the secondary hyperparathyroidism. Here, we investigated immunomodulating effect of these two VitD3 derivatives on the differentiation of type-1 immunoregulatory cells such as dendritic cells (DC1), cytotoxic T cells (Tc1) and helper T cells (Th1). BALB/c mouse bone marrow-derived DC (BMDC1) induced by culture with Th1 condition (GM-CSF, IL-3, IL-12 and IFN-gamma) expressed higher levels of MHC Class I and Class II molecules and co-stimulatory molecules compared with BMDC0 induced by neutral condition (GM-CSF+IL-3). In addition, BMDC1 showed stronger immunostimulating activity to induce alloantigen (H-2(d))-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) compared with BMDC0. However, if VitD3 derivatives were added into the culture for BMDC1 induction, the expression of functional molecules and type-1 IFNs were greatly inhibited. Moreover, VitD3 derivative-treated BMDC1 lost their immunostimulating activity to induce alloantigen-specific IFN-gamma-producing Tc1. In addition, it was demonstrated that the addition of VitD3 derivatives inhibited the differentiation of IFN-gamma-producing Th1 cells from ovalbumin (OVA)-specific naive Th cells, while it rather augmented the differentiation of IL-4- or IL-10-producing Th2 cells. There was no significant difference in immunomodulating activity between 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) and 22-Oxa-1 alpha,25-D(3). Thus, VitD3 derivatives are demonstrated to inhibit the functional differentiation of DC1, Tc1 and Th1 cells, which play a critical role in type-1 cellular immune responses.
    Biomedical Research 03/2006; 27(1):1-9. · 1.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Marked parathyroid hyperplasia with bone diseases and vascular calcification are unsolved issues in dialysis patients. In this study, we made azotemic model rats by adenine feeding and analyzed the development and progression of the abnormalities. Renal failure was induced in 8-week-old male Wistar rats by feeding 0.75% adenine-containing diet for 6 weeks. Serum parameters, parathyroid hyperplasia, bone changes and metastatic calcification were examined at 2, 4 and 6 weeks. Progressive increase of serum creatinine and inorganic phosphate, and decreased levels of serum calcium and 1,25(OH)2D3 were confirmed. Markedly enlarged parathyroid glands and extremely high PTH levels were observed in all adenine-fed rats compared with the control (PTH: 199.3+/-58.0 vs 10.5+/-3.0 pmol/l, P<0.01, respectively, at 6 weeks). In cortical bone of the femur, the morphometric parameters showed increased bone resorption with increased fibrosis, whereas in the trabecular bone, bone resorption decreased and bone volume increased with a larger amount of osteoid compared with the control. Metastatic calcification in aorta, coronary artery and other soft tissues were also found in adenine-fed rats. Uraemic rats made by adenine diet developed severe abnormalities of calcium metabolism in a relatively short period and therefore they may serve as a useful model for the analysis of parathyroid hyperplasia and vascular calcification in chronic renal failure.
    Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 03/2006; 21(3):651-9. · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Immune balance controlled by Th1 and Th2 cells is critical for the protection of host from pathogenic invasion while its imbalance becomes the cause of various immune disorders including autoimmune diseases. Cytokines, such as IL-12 and IL-4, are critical factor to drive the differentiation of naïve CD4(+) T cells to Th1 or Th2 cells. In addition to cytokines, steroid hormones have been demonstrated to affect on the control of Th1/Th2 balance and the onset of autoimmune diseases. Here, we will propose a new concept that immunosteroid, which is designated as a steroid produced by immunoregulatory cells, also play a critical role for regulation of Th1/Th2 balance. First example of immunosteroid is Th2-dependently produced progesterone. Th2 cells, but not Th1 cells expressed P450scc and 20alpha-HSD and produced progesterone from 22R-hydroxycholesterol in cooperation with 3beta-HSD-expressing mouse fibroblasts. Th2-dependently produced progesterone induced apoptotic cell death of Th1 cells and inhibited the differentiation of Th1 cells. While Th2 cells were escaped from toxic effect of progesterone by metabolizing it to non-toxic 20alpha-hydroxyprogesterone with 20alpha-HSD. Second example of immunosteroid is dendritic cell (DC)-dependently produced 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH)(2)D] secosteroid hormone, which has been demonstrated to inhibit autoimmune diseases. We found that 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 1alpha-hydroxylase, which metabolize 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (inactive form) to 1,25(OH)(2)D was expressed in Th2-cytokine induced bone marrow-derived DC2 but not Th1-cytokine induced DC1. Moreover, 1,25(OH)(2)D was significantly inhibited DC1-induced type1 immunity. Thus, we initially demonstrated the critical role of immunosteroids in the control of Th1/Th2 balance influencing on the onset of autoimmune diseases. Therefore, it will be an important issue to investigate the possible role of immunosteroids for the regulation of autoimmune diseases.
    Autoimmunity 09/2005; 38(5):369-75. · 2.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The most important etiological factors of resistance to medical treatments for secondary hyperparathyroidism are the decreased contents of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) and Ca-sensing receptor (CaSR) in parathyroid cells and a severely swollen parathyroid gland (PTG) as a result of hyperplasia. The effects of direct maxacalcitol (OCT) injection into PTG in terms of these factors were investigated in this study. The PTG of Sprague-Dawley rats that were 5/6 nephrectomized and fed a high-phosphate diet were treated by a direct injection of OCT (DI-OCT) or vehicle (DI-vehicle). The changes in serum intact parathyroid hormone (PTH), Ca(2+), and phosphorus levels, in VDR and CaSR expression levels in parathyroid cells, and in Ca(2+)-PTH curves were examined. Apoptosis was analyzed by the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end-labeling method and DNA electrophoresis for PTG. DI-OCT markedly decreased serum intact PTH level, and a significant difference in this level between DI-OCT and DI-vehicle was observed. However, serum Ca(2+) and phosphorus levels did not changed markedly in both groups. The upregulations of both VDR and CaSR, the clear shift to the left downward in the Ca(2+)-PTH curve, and the induction of apoptosis after DI-OCT were observed. These findings were not observed in the DI-vehicle-treated rats. Moreover, these effects of DI-OCT were confirmed by the DI-OCT into one PTG and DI-vehicle alone into another PTG in the same rat. DI-OCT may introduce simultaneous VDR and CaSR upregulations and the regression of hyperplastic PTG, and these effects may provide a strategy for strongly suppressing PTH levels in very severe secondary hyperparathyroidism.
    Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 02/2005; 16(1):97-108. · 9.47 Impact Factor
  • Ikuo Imazeki
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    ABSTRACT: Maxacalcitol (Oxarol) is a derivative of vitamin D compounds applied for the secondary hyperparathyroidism (2 degrees HPT) of hemodialysis (HD) patients as an injection and psoriasis as an ointment. 2 degrees HPT is one of the complications in HD patients with hyperplasia of parathyroid glands and elevated serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels. On the other hand, vitamin D compounds are known to have multiple actions in many organs (promotion of calcium absorption from the small intestine, induction of differentiation of leukemia cells, differentiation and proliferation of the chondrocyte, muscle cells and epidermal cells, immunosuppressive activities) and their activities on parathyroid glands seem to be mediated by the vitamin D receptor (genomic action). It was reported that both serum PTH and PTH mRNA levels were suppressed by Maxacalcitol with less calcemic action and also Maxacalcitol could ameliorate high-turnover bone and marked osteitis fibrosa in uremic rats. Here I review many reports focused on the effects of Maxacalcitol on the 2 degrees HPT.
    Folia Pharmacologica Japonica 02/2003; 121(1):65-72.
  • Ikuo IMAZEKI
    Folia Pharmacologica Japonica 01/2003; 121(1):65-75.

Publication Stats

161 Citations
40.13 Total Impact Points


  • 2008
    • Jichi Medical University
      • Division of Nephrology
      Totigi, Tochigi, Japan
  • 2005–2007
    • Wakayama Medical University
      • • Division of Nephrology and Blood Purification Medicine
      • • Center of Blood Purification Therapy
      Wakayama, Wakayama, Japan
  • 2005–2006
    • Hokkaido University
      • Institute for Genetic Medicine
      Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido, Japan
  • 2003
    • Chugai pharmceutical