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  3. Clinical Epigenetics Corporate Sponsored Research Programs <Fujita Laboratory>

Clinical Epigenetics Corporate Sponsored Research Programs <Fujita Laboratory>

Study of molecular and epigenetic mechanisms underlying hypertension and diabetic kidney disease

The number of hypertensive and diabetic patients reaches 40 and 10 million in Japan. Despite the development of many anti-hypertensive and -diabetic drugs, the number of cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease keeps increasing and they represent important social and economic burdens for the society. Increased uptake of salt causes hypertension, but the sensitivity to salt differs among individuals. Those with high salt sensitivity are prone to kidney and cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, kidney disease developed in diabetic patients is difficult to reverse once it begins to deteriorate.

We think that salt sensitivity and irreversible nature of diabetic kidney disease are caused by abnormalities in epigenetics. Epigenetics is a switching mechanism involved in regulation of gene expression by DNA methylation and histone modifications. We believe that understanding the changes in epigenetics leads to the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic means for hypertension, diabetes and their complications. We are studying about topics:

(1)The mechanisms underlying salt sensitive hypertension, with regard to regulation of salt re-uptake in renal tubules.
(2)How to prevent development of kidney and cardiac injury caused by hypertension, especially focused on mineralocorticoid signaling.
(3)Early detection of kidney disease by use of epigenetic information of individual kidney cell types.
(4)Exploration of epigenetic abnormalities underlying irreversible nature of diabetic kidney disease.

Kidney tubular cells involved in salt reabsorption.
Principal (red) and intercalated (green) cells
Staining and sorting of proximal tubular cells
Blood pressure of mice measured by telemetry,
hypertension caused by mineralocorticoid


  • Toshiro FUJITA
  • Specialized field:Nephrology, Endocrinology, and Hypertension
<As of May 2020>


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