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THE IKEZU LAB

Neuroinflammation matters! Our lab is working on brain innate immune cells called microglia and extracellular vesicles to decipher the mechanisms of neurodevelopment and neurodegenerative disorders

Tsuneya started a new job at Department of Neuroscience, Mayo Clinic Florida

 

RESEARCH

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NEURODEGENERATIVE DISORDERS

The primary focus of our lab is to understand how tau protein propagates in a stereotypical manner in Alzheimer’s disease brain. Our research recently identified that microglia and exosomes, a nanoscale extracellular vesicles secreted from cells, mediate the spread of pathogenic tau protein in animal models of AD. We are interested in understanding the molecular composition, the cellular origin, transporting machinery, and cellular destination of exosomes in animal and human brains.

NEURODEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS

We are interested in the role of microglia in the pathobiology of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Environmental factors, such as infection, environmental pollutant, and maternal stresses are emerging risks of ASD. Systemic infection in the first trimester of pregnancy is known to increase the risk of ASD in the offspring. We hypothesize that such environmental factors dysregulate brain development through microglial dysfunction. We employ system biological approaches to comprehensively characterize the microglial and neuronal development in animal models of ASD.

HUMAN IPSC RESEARCH

Human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are powerful tools to reconstitute interaction of human neuronal and immune cells in tissue culture models. We are remodeling the central nervous system (spheroids) consisted with many neuronal cell types using human iPSCs derived from healthy and disease cases. These models are being tested using confocal microscopy, electrophysiology, RNA sequencing and proteomics.