The Molecular Microbiology Group is dedicated to fundamental research on protective immunity against intracellular bacterial pathogens including Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Our researches are focused on the immunoregulatory mechanism in the infected organs such as the lung which is the primary target organs for M. tuberculosis infection. Our analyses have been focused on the role of signal transduction molecules and pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1, IL-17A/F, IL-33, chemokines, etc.). The signaling pathways and cytokines are important not only in early protection by innate immunity, but also in induction and regulation of acquired immunity which plays a pivotal role in elimination of the pathogens. Since M. tuberculosis interferes host signal transduction pathways with unknown mechanism, research projects on the analysis of molecular mechanism of the interference to the signaling mechanism is ongoing. We are also analyzing the role of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the regulation of immune response to mycobacterial infection. Our analyses would be important in development of new anti-tuberculosis drugs and vaccines which can control tuberculosis.
Our Group members also hold posts in the Graduate School of Medicine (Department of Host Defense) and participate in the Graduate Education Program at the University of the Ryukyus.
Fig. 1 マウス肺に恒常的に発現するIL-17F（緑）の共焦点レーザー顕微鏡画像 (X40)
Fig. 2 結核菌（Mtb）が分泌する病原因子（A, Z）による免疫応答の修飾
Fig. 3 従来のBCGワクチンによる末梢リンパ組織へのTh1細胞誘導に加え、経鼻ワクチンにより肺にIL-17産生Ｔ(Th17)細胞を誘導することにより、より強い抗結核防御免疫を肺に誘導する新規ワクチン戦略の提唱。
|Assistant Prof.||Masayuki UMEMURA|
|Assistant Prof.||Giichi TAKAESU|
|Adjunct Associate Prof.||Toshihiro KONNO|