The Japanese have a saying, “a moderate diet is the best medicine,” and, regardless of whether you are talking about humans or lab mice, a moderate restriction of food intake appears to be a universally effective intervention for life extension in animals.
The Higami Laboratory in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Department of Medicinal and Life Science is researching why caloric restriction increases longevity, focusing specifically on mitochondria in adipose tissue.
Many people view adipose tissue, or ‘fat tissue,’ negatively as a harmful substance that makes us fat. However, in recent years we have come to understand that adipose tissue is responsible for secreting a variety of different bioactive molecules and that it can have good and bad effects on the body depending upon tissue quality.
The Higami Laboratory carried out research looking at both calorie-restricted mice and obese mice.
An analysis of the adipose tissue from the calorie-restricted mice and the obese mice revealed characteristics of good and bad adipose tissue.
The researchers are studying the mechanisms involved in normalizing adipocytes (fat cells) that have undergone hypertrophy.
A mechanism has been identified whereby a modulation of certain mitochondria-related protein expressions in hypertrophic adipocytes (fat cells) of the obese mice caused adipocytes to shrink in size; verification of these results is currently ongoing.
Japan and many countries around the world are is preparing to face the challenges of the “super-aging” society expected in the near future. The Higami Laboratory continues to work toward the development of medicines that will help cut obesity, improve metabolism and provide better health and quality of life.
Main research content
Addressing the social inequality of intergenerational inequity
Institute of Arts and Sciences, Kagurazaka Division, Institute of Arts and Sciences
Junior Associate Professor Tomoko MATSUMOTO
Using data science to decipher genetic information and contribute to drug discovery
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences Department of Pharmacy
Professor Satoru MIYAZAKI
Ending starvation with sustainable agriculture
Faculty of Advanced Engineering Department of Biological Science and Technology
Professor Gen-ichiro ARIMURA
Ensuring access to education,no matter the circumstances
Organization for Education Advancement Center for Teacher Education and Graduate School of Science, Department of Mathematics and Science Education
Professor Yuki WATANABE