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  4. OKADA Naoko, Ph.D. / Associate Professor

OKADA Naoko, Ph.D. / Associate Professor

Division of Pharmacotherapy

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Research Topics

1. Research on the epigenetic regulation mechanisms of fibroblasts in chronic inflammatory environment.

2. Investigation of molecular mechanism and regulatory pathways in chronic allergic inflammation.

Chronic allergic inflammatory diseases often cause fibrosis in local tissue and are refractory to treatment. However, the precise mechanisms increasing the severity of these diseases remain unknown. We previously focused on periostin, which was known to have an important role in allergic inflammation as a matricellular protein, and found that the concentration of periostin in the tears of allergic patients was significantly higher than that of normal donors. Furthermore, it was revealed that conjunctival fibroblasts were involved in high expression of periostin in the tear of patients. In the current studies, in order to verify the chronic inflammatory environment causes over-expression of periostin via epigenetic mechanisms, the functional relevance of DNA methylation and histone modification in the regulation of the periostin gene expression have been investigated. In addition, we aim to elucidate the signaling pathways involved in the epigenetic modifications and link it to novel therapeutics.

Representative Publications

1. Okada N., Nakayama T., Asaka D., Inoue N., Tsurumoto T., Takaishi S., Otori N., Kojima H., Matsuda A., Oboki K., Saito H.,Matsumoto K., Yoshikawa M., Distinct gene expression profiles and regulation networks of nasal polyps in eosinophilic and non-eosinophilic chronic rhinosinusitis, Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 8(5), 592-604 (2018).

2. Nakayama T., Okada N., Yoshikawa M., Asaka D., Kuboki A., Kojima H., Tanaka Y., Haruna SI., Assessment of suitable reference genes for RT-qPCR studies in chronic rhinosinusitis, Sci Rep, 8(1), 1568 (2018) (contributed equally).

3. Motomura K., Okada N., Morita H., Hara M., Tamari M., Orimo K., Matsuda G., Imadome KI., Matsuda A., Nagamatsu T.,Fujieda M., Sago H., Saito H., Matsumoto K.. A Rho-associated coiled-coil containing kinases (ROCK) inhibitor, Y-27632, enhances adhesion, viability and differentiation of human term placenta-derived trophoblasts in vitro, PLoS One, 12(5), e0177994 (2017).

4. Toyama S., Okada N., Matsuda A., Morita H., Saito H., Fujisawa T., Nakae S., Karasuyama H., Matsumoto K., Human eosinophils constitutively express a unique serine protease, PRSS33, Allergol Int, 66(3), 463-471 (2017).

5. Fujishima H., Okada N., Matsumoto K., Fukagawa K., Igarashi A., Matsuda A., Ono J., Ohta S., Mukai H., Yoshikawa M., Izuhara K., The usefulness of measuring tear periostin for the diagnosis and management of ocular allergic diseases, J Allergy Clin Immunol, 138(2), 459-467 (2016) (contributed equally) .