Hokkaido University
  • Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
Recent publications
We analyzed stable isotope ratios, fatty acid, and lipid components of chub mackerel, Scomber japonicus , to evaluate their applicability as chemical biomarkers. Chub mackerel were collected in the East China Sea, the Sea of Japan, and the Pacific Ocean, with body sizes ranging from 51 to 388 mm. The total fatty acid and lipid contents (mg g ⁻¹ ) increased with growth, and the percent composition of fatty acids and lipids changed drastically. The percentages of docosahexaenoic acid (%DHA), stearic acid (%Ste), and arachidonic acid (%ARA) decreased and the percentage of oleic acid (%Ole) increased when the body length (fork length) was about 250 mm. The amounts of triacylglycerols (TAG) in fish in the East China Sea were lower than in the Sea of Japan and Pacific Ocean. The percentage of TAG drastically increased at around 250 mm FL, however, the phosphatidylcholines (PC) drastically decreased. The ontogenetic differences in the fatty acid and lipid composition might be influenced by metabolic events such as growth and reproduction. The geographical differences in chub mackerel can be distinguished by using stable isotope ratios, the ω3:ω6 fatty acid and DHA:EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) ratios, and six main fatty acids. These chemical biomarkers could be available for understanding habitat and migration of chub mackerel.
Karst cavities are the result of chemical erosion occurring within the carbonate rocks with openings that range from a few millimeters to several meters. They can be a nuisance for engineering structures during the design or construction phase: foundations, underground tunnels, embankments, etc. Despite the challenge of unknown geological features, this study discusses the stability of ground against collapse caused by underground caves by estimating the bearing capacity of a shallow foundation resting on a soil with a cavity using a two-dimensional rigid plastic finite element method (RPFEM) with the Drucker-Prager yield function. The influence of underground caves located within a single-layer ground is discussed. A parametric study considering the effects of the location, the size, the shape of the cavity, and the footing size is conducted. An interesting relationship between bearing capacity and influence zone is drawn based on these parameters. Several failure modes are observed, and the results show the parametric variation of the influence zone and an agreement with other numerical simulations in the literature.
Many potent neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 antibodies have been developed and used for therapies. However, the effectiveness of many antibodies has been reduced against recently emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, especially the Omicron variant. We identified a highly potent SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody, UT28K, in COVID-19 convalescent individuals who recovered from a severe condition. UT28K showed efficacy in neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 in an in vitro assay and in vivo prophylactic treatment, and the reactivity to the Omicron strain was reduced. The structural analyses revealed that antibody UT28K Fab and SARS-CoV-2 RBD protein interactions were mainly chain-dominated antigen-antibody interactions. In addition, a mutation analysis suggested that the emergence of a UT28K neutralization-resistant SARS-CoV-2 variant was unlikely, as this variant would likely lose its competitive advantage over circulating SARS-CoV-2. Our data suggest that UT28K offers potent protection against SARS-CoV-2, including newly emerging variants.
Changes in winter precipitation (snow) may greatly affect vegetation by altering hydrological and biochemical processes. To understand the effects of changing snow cover depth and melt timing on the taiga forest ecosystem, a snow manipulation experiment was conducted in December 2015 at the Spasskaya Pad experimental larch forest in Eastern Siberia, which is characterized by a continental dry climate with extreme cold winters and hot summers. Variables including soil temperature and moisture, oxygen and hydrogen isotope ratios of soil moisture and stem water, foliar nitrogen and carbon contents and their isotopes, phenology, and soil inorganic nitrogen were observed at snow removal (SNOW−), snow addition (SNOW+), and CONTROL plots. After snow manipulation, the soil temperature at the SNOW− plot decreased significantly compared to the CONTROL and SNOW+ plots. At SNOW− plot, snowmelt was earlier and soil temperature was higher than at other plots during spring because of low soil moisture caused by less snowmelt water. Despite the earlier snowmelt and higher soil temperature in the SNOW− plot in the early growing season, needle elongation was delayed. Leaf chemistry also differed between the CONTROL and SNOW− plots. The needle nitrogen content in the SNOW− plot was lower in the middle of July, whereas no difference was observed among the three plots in August. The soil inorganic nitrogen content of each plot corresponded to these results. The amount of soil ammonium was lower in the SNOW− plot than in the other plots at the end of July, however, once production started in August, the amount of soil ammonium in the three plots was comparable. Extremely low soil temperatures in winter and freeze–thaw cycles in spring and dry soil condition in spring and early summer at the SNOW− plot may have influenced the phenology and production of soil inorganic nitrogen.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, cancer continues to be the most devastating disease worldwide. Liquid biopsy of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) has recently become a painless and noninvasive tool for obtaining carcinoma cell samples for molecular profiling. Here, we report efficient detection and collection of cancer cells in blood samples by combining stem cell antigen (CD44)-specific immunosilica particles and immunofluorescent quantum dots with spectrally and temporally resolved single-photon counting. We accurately detect 1–10 cells among 100 cancer cells of the breast, lungs, or cervix in 1 mL blood samples. In addition, the bright and narrowband emission of CdSe/ZnS quantum dots enables temporally and spectrally resolved photon counting for multiplexed cancer cell detection. The cancer cell-specific and large immunosilica particles helped us collect the specific cells. We validate the detection efficiency and multimodality of this strategy by time-stamped and energy-dispersed single-photon counting of orange- and red-emitting quantum dots and green-fluorescing nuclei stained with Syto-13/25 dye. Thus, the present work highlights the prospects of multimodal CTC detection for noninvasive cancer screening and postsurgical or therapeutic follow-up.
This prospective multicenter study, established by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and involving 27 institutions, aimed to compare postoperative outcomes between laminoplasty (LM) and posterior fusion (PF) for cervical ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL), in order to address the controversy surrounding the role of instrumented fusion in cases of posterior surgical decompression for OPLL. 478 patients were considered for participation in the study; from among them, 189 (137 and 52 patients with LM and PF, respectively) were included and evaluated using the Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) scores, the JOA Cervical Myelopathy Evaluation Questionnaire (JOACMEQ), and radiographical measurements. Basic demographic and radiographical data were reviewed, and the propensity to choose a surgical procedure was calculated. Preoperatively, there were no significant differences among the participants in terms of patient backgrounds, radiographical measurements (K-line or cervical alignment on X-ray, OPLL occupation ratio on computed tomography, increased signal intensity change on magnetic resonance imaging), or clinical status (JOA score and JOACMEQ) after adjustments. The overall risk of perioperative complications was found to be lower with LM (odds ratio [OR] 0.40, p = 0.006), and the rate of C5 palsy occurrence was significantly lower with LM (OR 0.11, p = 0.0002) than with PF. The range of motion (20.91° ± 1.05° and 9.38° ± 1.24°, p < 0.0001) in patients who had PF was significantly smaller than in those who had LM. However, multivariable logistic regression analysis showed no significant difference among the participants in JOA score, JOA recovery rate, or JOACMEQ improvement at two years. In contrast, OPLL progression was greater in the LM group than in the PF group (OR 2.73, p = 0.0002). Both LM and PF for cervical myelopathy due to OPLL had resulted in comparable postoperative outcomes at 2 years after surgery.
The identification of molecular targets of bioactive food components is important to understand the mechanistic aspect of their physiological functions. Here, we have developed a screening system that enables us to determine the activation of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) by food components and have identified GPR55 as a target for curcumin. Curcumin activated GPR55 and induced serum-response element- and serum-response factor-mediated transcription, which were inhibited by Rho kinase and GPR55 antagonists. Both the methoxy group and the heptadienone moiety of curcumin were required for GPR55 activation. The F190 5.47 residue of GPR55 was important for the interaction with curcumin. The curcumin-induced secretion of glucagon-like peptide-1 in GLUTag cells was inhibited by a GPR55 antagonist. These results indicate that expression screening is a useful system to identify GPCRs as targets of food components and strongly suggest that curcumin activates GPR55 as an agonist, which is involved in the physiological function of curcumin.
Bone metastases confined to the posterior elements of the spine are rarely treated, as there exist no established radical surgical treatment options for this area. Herein, we present a case report of and technical note on a patient who underwent radical resection for a metastatic tumor in the thoracic spinous process. A 34-year-old male presented with a nasopharyngeal carcinoma with a solitary metastatic focus in the spinous process of the 10th thoracic vertebra. Imaging revealed that the tumor was confined to the spinous process and the surrounding soft tissues. No tumor was noted in the pedicles, vertebral body, and cortical bone on the ventral side of the lamina, as well as within the spinal canal. As treatment for this solitary metastatic lesion, we decided to perform radical resection with sufficient margins that would include the involved spinous process and all surrounding soft tissues exhibiting evidence of tumor infiltration. The posterior elements of the 9th–11th vertebrae, multifidus muscles, and skin were widely resected en bloc using a T-saw. The posterior elements of the spinal column were resected at the level of pedicles without full visualization of the involved dural sac. The tumor-infiltrated soft tissues surrounding the T10 vertebral spinous process were excised without full visualization of the tumor. Adjuvant therapy was not administered postoperatively. During the second year of follow-up, no signs of recurrence or metastasis were noted. Our proposed technique allows wide resection of a solitary focus of metastasis in the posterior elements of the spine.
For Japanese coastal communities along the Japan Sea, where the risk of earthquake-induced tsunamis is deemed lower than that along the Pacific Ocean, tsunami disaster mitigation strategies have not been sufficiently developed. This study estimated the tsunami inundation characteristics for three major Japanese coastal cities along the Japan Sea. Based on tsunami simulations for representative coastal areas, we aimed to identify common vulnerabilities, which included those suggested by previous studies and local governments, to develop disaster mitigation strategies. Comprehensive simulations for tsunami propagation and inundation were performed for coastal areas in Akita City, Sakata City, and Niigata City based on earthquake and tsunami source scenarios developed by the Japanese Government for the Japan Sea area. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the estimated inundation characteristics, tsunami inundation was simulated for each coastal area under varying tsunami source conditions (including excessive tsunami magnitude) with a high resolution of the topography and infrastructure. Natural sand dunes, ports with man-made breakwaters, and rivers with levees are typical topographical features found in urbanized and densely populated areas along the Japan Sea coastline. According to the simulated results, the dunes and port breakwaters contribute significantly to decreasing the total amount of tsunami inundation for the areas behind them. However, the presence of the breakwaters also increases the tsunami heights in the areas immediately beyond the ports. Additionally, even the areas protected by the dunes might be exposed to an inundation risk in which the tsunamis invade a river channel, causing it to overflow. These findings were common to the coastal areas, and could be generally applicable to tsunami inundation for all coastal areas along the Japan Sea. Based on these results, the enhancement of existing infrastructure such as breakwaters and river levees should be the priority measure within tsunami risk-mitigation strategies; these, combined with natural resources such as dunes, can effectively mitigate tsunami disasters. Graphical Abstract
Since Schwann cells (SCs) support axonal growth at development as well as after peripheral nerve injury (PNI), developing SCs might be able to promote axon regeneration after PNI. The purpose of the current study was to elucidate the capability of developing SCs to induce axon regeneration after PNI. SC precursors (SCPs), immature SCs (ISCs), repair SCs (RSCs) from injured nerves, and non-RSCs from intact nerves were tested by grafting into acellular region of rat sciatic nerve with crush injury. Both of developing SCs completely failed to support axon regeneration, whereas both of mature SCs, especially RSCs, induced axon regeneration. Further, RSCs but not SCPs promoted neurite outgrowth of adult dorsal root ganglion neurons. Transcriptome analysis revealed that the gene expression profiles were distinctly different between RSCs and SCPs. These findings indicate that developing SCs are markedly different from mature SCs in terms of functional and molecular aspects and that RSC is a viable candidate for regenerative cell therapy for PNI.
Monitoring of crustal deformation provides essential information for seismology and volcanology. For such earth science fields and other purposes, various Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) networks have been constructed at the national and regional levels. In Japan, the continuous nationwide GNSS network, the GNSS Earth Observation Network System (GEONET), is operated by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan. Although GEONET has made a substantial contribution to earth science research, the large spacing of GEONET sites makes it difficult to accurately understand crustal deformation phenomena in some cases. However, cell phone carriers in Japan have constructed independent GNSS networks to improve their positioning services in recent years. In this study, we examine the performance of a GNSS network operated by SoftBank Corp. for crustal deformation monitoring. The network has more than 3300 sites throughout Japan, which is approximately 2.5 times the number of the GEONET sites. To assess the quality of SoftBank's GNSS data, we first analyzed data from Miyagi Prefecture and evaluated the stability of the coordinate time series for nine consecutive days during a quiet (interseismic) period. The calculated standard deviations were approximately the same for both networks. Furthermore, we calculated the displacement between September 2020 and March 2021. The results reveal that almost all SoftBank sites showed a consistent displacement with their surrounding GEONET sites. Next, we analyzed the coseismic deformation associated with the off-Fukushima earthquake (MJMA 7.3) on February 13, 2021, in both static and kinematic modes. We obtained a westward coherent displacement along the coastline in both networks, although several outliers were observed for the SoftBank sites. Based on these initial assessments, we conclude that these private sector GNSS sites are useful for crustal deformation monitoring with appropriate data quality control.
Objective To disseminate the portable sequencer MinION in developing countries for the main purpose of battling infectious diseases, we found a consortium called Global Research Alliance in Infectious Diseases (GRAID). By holding and inviting researchers both from developed and developing countries, we aim to train the participants with MinION’s operations and foster a collaboration in infectious diseases researches. As a real-life example in which resources are limited, we describe here a result from a training course, a metagenomics analysis from two blood samples collected from a routine cattle surveillance in Kulan Progo District, Yogyakarta Province, Indonesia in 2019. Results One of the samples was successfully sequenced with enough sequencing yield for further analysis. After depleting the reads mapped to host DNA, the remaining reads were shown to map to Theileria orientalis using BLAST and OneCodex. Although the reads were also mapped to Clostridium botulinum, those were found to be artifacts derived from the cow genome. An effort to construct a consensus sequence was successful using a reference-based approach with Pomoxis. Hence, we concluded that the asymptomatic cow might be infected with T. orientalis and showed the usefulness of sequencing technology, specifically the MinION platform, in a developing country.
We modeled the vertical deformation detected from a leveling survey in Jigokudani valley, Tateyama volcano, central Japan. In Jigokudani valley, uplift of 4 cm/year was previously detected during the period from 2007 to 2010 by interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR). To confirm whether this inflation has continued to present day, we have conducted leveling surveys in Jigokudani valley since 2015. Most bench marks showed a subsidence of up to 5.6 cm during the 4-year period from October 2016 to September 2020, while a bench mark located at the center of the leveling route uniquely showed an uplift of 1.6 cm. We applied a dislocation source model to the deformation using a grid search method. A crack with a length of 650 m, a width of 425 m, a strike of N18° E and a dip of 67° is located at a depth of 50 m near the center of Jigokudani valley (Koya jigoku and the new fumarolic area) where higher activity has been observed recently. Closing of the crack of 59 cm yields a volume decrease of 163,000 m ³ . The closing direction of the crack is parallel to the line of old explosion craters (Mikurigaike and Midorigaike ponds) and corresponds to the current maximum compressive stress field in the region of the Hida Mountains, including Tateyama volcano. The deformation source of the previous period from 2007 to 2010 detected from InSAR was estimated to be at a depth of 50 m and a gas chamber was correspondingly found in an audio-frequency magnetotelluric (AMT) survey. The AMT survey also revealed that thermal fluid is accumulating from a magma chamber and the location of our crack is similar to uppermost part of the thermal fluid path. During the period from 2015 to 2016, the crack opened and the inflation stopped during the next 1 year period from 2016 to 2017. During the period from 2017 to 2020, the crack began closing, probably because of the increase in emissions of volcanic fluid or gas with the formation of a new crater at the western side of Jigokudani valley during the period from 2017 to 2018. Graphical Abstract
We examined the chemical constitution of the red alga Laurencia saitoi Perestenko, collected from Katsuura, Boso Peninsula, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. This specimen produced a new polyhalogenated acetogenin, named katsuurallene ( 1 ), which structure was determined by the spectral methods, along with known diterpene, deoxyparguerol ( 2 ) and triterpene, thyrsiferol ( 3 ). In this paper we describe the structural elucidation of katsuurallene together with some biological activities.
Calsyntenins (CLSTNs) are important synaptic molecules whose molecular functions are not fully understood. Although mutations in calsyntenin ( CLSTN ) genes have been associated with psychiatric disorders in humans, their function is still unclear. One of the reasons why the function of CLSTNs in the nervous system has not been clarified is the functional redundancy among the three paralogs. Therefore, to investigate the functions of mammalian CLSTNs, we generated triple knockout (TKO) mice lacking all CLSTN paralogs and examined their behavior. The mutant mice tended to freeze in novel environments and exhibited hypersensitivity to stress. Consistent with this, glucose levels under stress were significantly higher in the mutant mice than in the wild-type controls. In particular, phenotypes such as decreased motivation, which had not been reported in single Clstn KO mice, were newly discovered. The TKO mice generated in this study represent an important mouse model for clarifying the function of CLSTN in the future.
Background Replaced right hepatic artery (rRHA) is a common vascular variation, and combined resection of this vessel is sometimes needed for the curative resection of pancreatic head malignancy. Safe surgical management has not been established, and there is a small number of reported cases. Here, we reported five cases, wherein preoperative embolization of rRHA was performed for combined resection. Case presentation All patients had pancreatic head malignancies that were in contact with rRHA. We performed a preoperative embolization of the rRHA before the scheduled pancreaticoduodenectomy for the combined resection. Arterial embolization was safely accomplished, and the communicating arcade from the left hepatic artery via the hilar plate was clearly revealed in all cases. Four patients underwent the operative procedure, except for one patient who had liver metastasis at laparotomy. No patient suffered from a severe abnormal liver function during the management; however, one patient had multiple liver infarctions during the postoperative course. Conclusions Preoperative embolization for the combined resection of rRHA in pancreaticoduodenectomy can be a management option for the precise evaluation of hemodynamics after sacrificing rRHA. In our cases, arterial flow to the right liver lobe was supplied by the left hepatic artery via the bypass route, including the communicating arcade of the hilar plate.
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5,327 members
Takuro Shinano
  • Research Faculty of Agriculture
Yasuyuki Hashidoko
  • Research Faculty of Agriculture
Kenneth Sutherland
  • Department of Medical Physics and Engineering
Information
Address
Kita 8, Nishi 5, Kita-ku, 060-0808, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
Head of institution
President, Professor Toyoharu Nawa
Website
https://www.oia.hokudai.ac.jp/