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Our department is interested in prostaglandin D₂ (PGD₂). PGD₂ is produced as a major PG in the CNS and acts as an endogenous somnogen. PGD₂ is also actively synthesized by mast cells and various immune-related cells and is involved in allergic reaction and inflammation.

We study the enzymology of PGD₂ production and generated gene-manipulated mice of PGD synthase (PGDS) and PGD₂ receptors, analyze the functional abnormalities to elucidate the function of PGD₂ in sleep-wake regulation and inflammation.

PGD₂ is synthesized by either of two isoforms of PGDS: the sleep-related lipocalin-type PGDS (L-PGDS) and the allergic mediator-producing hematopoietic PGDS (H-PGDS). Our department deals with in-depth studies of their structures and functions.

In the recent years, we elucidated the transcriptional network of sleep/wake regulation to unravel the mechanism of sleep and wakefulness. We promoted the project to develop a portable EEG device used for sleep monitoring at home. Simultaneously, we investigated the involvement of PGD₂ in the expansion and repair processes of damaged tissue of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy or multiple sclerosis to open a new frontier on therapies geared to delay disease progression in concurrence with the development of new medical treatment.

Research Topics

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