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Articles by N Maeda
Total Records ( 3 ) for N Maeda
  H Hirasawa , A Tomidokoro , M Araie , S Konno , H Saito , A Iwase , M Shirakashi , H Abe , S Ohkubo , K Sugiyama , T Ootani , S Kishi , K Matsushita , N Maeda , M Hangai and N. Yoshimura

Objectives  To evaluate the peripapillary distribution of retinal nerve fiber layer thickness (RNFLT) in normal eyes using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography and to study potentially related factors.

Methods  In 7 institutes in Japan, RNFLT in 7 concentric peripapillary circles with diameters ranging from 2.2 to 4.0 mm were measured using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography in 251 ophthalmologically normal subjects. Multiple regression analysis for the association of RNFLT with sex, age, axial length, and disc area was performed.

Results  Retinal nerve fiber layer thickness decreased linearly from 125 to 89 µm as the measurement diameter increased (P < .001, mixed linear model). Retinal nerve fiber layer thickness correlated with age in all diameters (partial correlation coefficient [PCC] = –0.40 to –0.32; P < .001) and negatively correlated with disc area in the 2 innermost circles but positively correlated in the 3 outermost circles (PCC = –0.30 to –0.22 and 0.17 to 0.20; P ≤ .005). Sex and axial length did not correlate with RNFLT (P > .08). The decay slope was smallest in the temporal and largest in the nasal and inferior quadrants (P < .001); positively correlated with disc area (PCC = 0.13 to 0.51; P ≤ .04); and negatively correlated with RNFLT (PCC = –0.51 to –0.15; P ≤ .01).

Conclusions  In normal Japanese eyes, RNFLT significantly correlated with age and disc area, but not with sex or axial length. Retinal nerve fiber layer thickness decreased linearly as the measurement diameter increased. The decay slope of RNFLT was steepest in the nasal and inferior quadrants and steeper in eyes with increased RNFLT or smaller optic discs.

  T Hibuse , N Maeda , H Nakatsuji , Y Tochino , K Fujita , S Kihara , T Funahashi and I. Shimomura

Cardiomyocytes require fatty acids and glucose for energy production. However, other nutrients and substrates that may serve as possible candidates for a cardiac energy source have not been fully studied. Several reports showed that a moderate expression of aquaporin 7 (AQP7), a member of the aquaglyceroporin family that is permeated by glycerol and water, is observed in heart tissue. However, the functional role of cardiac AQP7 is not clear. The aim of this study was to investigate the significance of glycerol as a cardiac energy substrate and to clarify the role of cardiac AQP7.

Methods and results

Heart function and morphology were examined in AQP7-knockout (KO) mice under basal conditions and during pressure overload [isoproterenol infusion and transverse aortic constriction (TAC)]. Glycerol uptake and glycerol-dependent ATP production were measured in AQP7-knockdown cardiac cells. Cardiac glycerol consumption was analysed in ex vivo beating hearts. Cardiac morphology and function in KO mice were similar to those of wild-type (WT) mice under basal conditions, although low glycerol and ATP content were noted in hearts of KO mice. In H9c2 cardiomyotubes, knockdown of AQP7 was associated with a significant reduction of glycerol uptake. The ex vivo heart study demonstrated that cardiac glycerol consumption levels in KO mice were significantly lower than those of WT mice. Furthermore, isoproterenol challenge induced severe left ventricular hypertrophy in KO mice, and TAC resulted in a higher mortality rate in KO mice than in WT mice.


The results indicate that AQP7 acts as a glycerol facilitator in cardiomyocytes and that glycerol is a substrate for cardiac energy production.

  K Gotoh , Y Tanaka , A Nishikimi , R Nakamura , H Yamada , N Maeda , T Ishikawa , K Hoshino , T Uruno , Q Cao , S Higashi , Y Kawaguchi , M Enjoji , R Takayanagi , T Kaisho , Y Yoshikai and Y. Fukui

Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) play a key role in antiviral immunity, but also contribute to the pathogenesis of certain autoimmune diseases, by producing large amounts of type I IFNs. Although activation of pDCs is triggered by engagement of nucleotide-sensing toll-like receptors (TLR) 7 and 9, type I IFN induction additionally requires IB kinase (IKK) –dependent activation of IFN regulatory factor (IRF) 7. However, the signaling pathway mediating IKK- activation is poorly defined. We show that DOCK2, an atypical Rac activator, is essential for TLR7- and TLR9-mediated IFN- induction in pDCs. We found that the exposure of pDCs to nucleic acid ligands induces Rac activation through a TLR-independent and DOCK2-dependent mechanism. Although this Rac activation was dispensable for induction of inflammatory cytokines, phosphorylation of IKK- and nuclear translocation of IRF-7 were impaired in Dock2-deficient pDCs, resulting in selective loss of IFN- induction. Similar results were obtained when a dominant-negative Rac mutant was expressed in wild-type pDCs. Thus, the DOCK2–Rac signaling pathway acts in parallel with TLR engagement to control IKK- activation for type I IFN induction. Owing to its hematopoietic cell-specific expression, DOCK2 may serve as a therapeutic target for type I IFN–related autoimmune diseases.

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