Atsushi Saito

School of Medicine, Sapporo Medical UniversityInstructor*Profile is at the time of the award.

2019Inamori Research GrantsBiology & Life sciences

Research topics
The analysis of the relationship between pulmonary collectin and microbiome in the lung
With progress in technology, it has become known that various kinds of bacterial flora exist in the lower respiratory tract, an area that was previously considered to be aseptic, and it has been suggested that the bacterial flora in the respiratory organ is involved in COPD, bronchial asthma, and other intractable respiratory disorders. Our research team has taken notice of the microbiome’s involvement in respiratory disorders from the beginning and, as part of this approach, focused on the microbiome in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), to reveal that diversity loss and certain bacterial species are heavily involved in the disease state of IPF. As described above, the relationship between the disease state and bacterial flora is becoming clear, but much remains unexplored about how the lung’s natural immunity is related to bacterial flora. Pulmonary collectins, SP-A and SP-D, exist in the respiratory tract and pulmonary alveoli systems as lung surfactant components, playing the central role in the lung’s natural immunity and biological defense, such as for prevention of invasion by pathogenic microbes and control of excessive inflammation in the lung. Nevertheless, how they are related to the lung’s microbiome remains unclear. Our research team will examine the impact that pulmonary collectins may have on lung microbiomes, so as to make new discoveries about the lung’s natural immunity.

Message from recipient

The Inamori Foundation supports researchers from various fields, including not only life science but engineering. Though my capabilities are limited, I will use this grant to do what I can to produce research findings of Japanese origin.

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Biology & Life sciences