Professor Koji Matsushima of the University of Tokyo and others have identified the origin of the cells that cause pulmonary fibrosis.In pulmonary fibrosis, the deposition of fibers causes the entire lung to become stiff and causes dyspnea.It is a fatal disease as it progresses.There was a part of the cause that was not well understood, and it was urgent to clarify it for the development of a treatment method.

 Chronic inflammation or injury to the lungs can replace normal tissue with fibers and prevent repair.Pulmonary fibrosis, the structure of the alveoli that take in oxygen, breaks down and causes dyspnea, which often causes shortness of breath.Currently, no treatment method other than lung transplantation has been established, and the development of new treatment methods is desired.For that purpose, it is indispensable to clarify the onset mechanism.However, there are various theories and controversy about how activated fibroblasts, which are known to produce fibers, develop.

 Professor Matsushima's group discovered that when cells were sent directly into the lungs from the mouth of a mouse, the cells engrafted in the lung tissue.With this new experimental method, we transplanted some cells suspected to be associated with pulmonary fibrosis.As a result, it was found that cells called tissue-resident fibroblasts differentiate into activated fibroblasts that cause disease.In this way, we succeeded in identifying the causative cell.In future research, we aim to develop a new therapeutic method by clarifying the mechanism of how these cells differentiate into the causative cells of the disease.

 Until now, therapeutic agents for pulmonary fibrosis have been actively developed.Some drugs have advanced to the clinical trial stage, but none of them completely eliminate the cause.It is expected that the results of this research will be the basic knowledge that will be indispensable for the development of fundamental therapeutic agents in the future.

Tokyo University

Established in the 10th year of the Meiji era.A university with the longest history in Japan and at the forefront of Japanese knowledge

The University of Tokyo was established in 1877 (Meiji 10) by integrating the Tokyo Kaisei School and the Tokyo Medical School.Since its establishment, it has developed education and research in a unique way in the world as a leading university in Japan and an academic center for the fusion of East and West cultures.As a result, many human resources have been produced in a wide range of fields, and many research achievements […]

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