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Proceedings of the Japan Academy, Ser. B, Physical and Biological Sciences

Vol. 86 No. 2 (2010)

  Vol. 86 No. 2 (2010)
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Reviews
Recent development of two chitinase inhibitors, Argifin and Argadin, produced by soil microorganisms
Tomoyasu HIROSE, Toshiaki SUNAZUKA and Satoshi ŌMURA
Proc. Jpn. Acad., Ser. B, Vol. 86, 85-102 (2010) [abstract] [PDF]
Recent advances in rice genome and chromosome structure research by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH)
Nobuko OHMIDO, Kiichi FUKUI and Toshiro KINOSHITA
Proc. Jpn. Acad., Ser. B, Vol. 86, 103-116 (2010) [abstract] [PDF]
Molecular approach to human leukemia: Isolation and characterization of the first human retrovirus HTLV-1 and its impact on tumorigenesis in Adult T-cell Leukemia
Mitsuaki YOSHIDA
Proc. Jpn. Acad., Ser. B, Vol. 86, 117-130 (2010) [abstract] [PDF]
Establishment of a concept of visceral fat syndrome and discovery of adiponectin
Yuji MATSUZAWA
Proc. Jpn. Acad., Ser. B, Vol. 86, 131-141 (2010) [abstract] [PDF]
Cover Illustration
The Structure of Adiponectin

 In order to clarify the pathogenic mechanism of obesity-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and atherosclerosis, Dr. Matsuzawa has been working on adipocyte function by analyzing the expressed genes in these cells which had been long considered to have only the function storing excess energy as triglyceride. He revealed that adipocytes express abundantly the genes encoding secretary proteins most of which are important bioactive substances including growth factors, complements and cytokines and he established the concept that adipose tissue is one of endocrine organs secreting so-called adipocytokines. He also discovered a novel adipocytokine, “adiponectin”, which has anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory and antiatherosclerotic properties. Adiponectin has collagen-like fibrous domain and C1q-like globular domain and is present in the human plasma at a very high concentration going up to 10–15 mg/ml in a unique polymerized form. The production of this protein is paradoxically decreased in obesity, especially visceral obesity. He demonstrated that hypoadiponectinemia is associated with a variety of diseases such as metabolic diseases, atherosclerotic diseases, inflammatory diseases and some cancers. In addition to these clinical observations, he studied the molecular mechanism of anti-diabetic, anti-atherogenic, anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic function of adiponectin.
 His achievement in the clarification of novel adipocyte function and the discovery of adiponectin have opened the possibility to develop new therapeutic strategies to treat a variety of common diseases including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and inflammatory diseases.

Hiroo Imura
Member of the Japan Academy

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