A collaborative research group led by Professor Yasuteru Urano and Professor Eiji Kobayashi of Keio University has developed the world's first technology to detect active oxygen generated in the body of living animals using the emission of fireflies.In the future, it will be an important clue to elucidate the role of active oxygen in the living body and to proceed with research to suppress the generation.

 Many organisms consume oxygen to produce the energy needed to sustain life.In the process, it is converted into active oxygen, a substance that is highly reactive with other substances.It is thought that if this amount is large, it will react with various parts of the body and cause various diseases such as cancer, lifestyle-related diseases, and aging.However, it was not easy to observe active oxygen, which is colorless and transparent and disappears immediately even if it is generated, and the actual state of action in the body was not well understood.

 Fireflies emit light by decomposing a substance called luciferin with an enzyme.In past research, the group has developed a technology to ferment strongly in the presence of active oxygen by controlling this mechanism.In this study, by incorporating this into the gene of the rat, we succeeded in emitting light at the site where the active oxygen concentration in the rat body is high.When a drug that produces active oxygen was administered to these rats, strong luminescence could be observed in about 10 minutes.

 There are still many unclear points about the degree of generation of active oxygen in the living body, and the fact is that we can only argue that it is better to suppress the generation vaguely when considering health.Using this technology, it is thought that the generation of active oxygen in pathological conditions can be observed.It is expected to contribute to the development of new drugs and the scientific support of the effects of health foods.

Source:[Keio University] The world's first successful detection of trace amounts of active oxygen generated in living animals

Keio University

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