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
Organization for Education Advancement Center for Teacher Education and Graduate School of Science, Department of Mathematics and Science Education
Professor Yuki WATANABE
Faculty of Science and Technology Department of Civil Engineering
Professor Yoshimichi TSUKAMOTO
Faculty of Science Division I Department of Applied Chemistry
Professor Akihiko KUDO
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences Department of Pharmacy
Professor Makiya NISHIKAWA