Laboratory Animal Science

Masahide Asano, Ph.D., Professor btn

Animal experiments are essential methods for biomedical research. We are engaged in understanding in vivo function of various genes and developing animal disease models using gene-engineered mice and rats. Our research focuses on glycobiology, epigenetics and neuronal diseases. We are also trying to elucidate the characteristics of the endangered species and rewind individuals using their iPS cells. Since we have developed novel gene-engineered mice and rats and manage one of the largest rat resource center (NBRP-Rat) in the world, we keep many interest mouse and rat strains to be analyzed.

Research and Education

The laboratory mouse is the most used experimental animal because of early development of gene targeting technology as well as its small body size and short life cycle. The laboratory rat is also very useful because of its suitable size for manipulation and its similar physiology to that of human. We perform reverse genetic approach using gene-engineered mice and rats. Cellular regulatory mechanisms beyond genetic code are important for complicated central nervous system (CNS) and developmental process. We are studying how carbohydrate chains and how epigenetic factors regulate the CNS and development. Moreover, we have generated iPS cells from an endangered species, T. osimensis. The iPS cells are introduced into mouse or rat embryos for the production of interspecific chimera to reveal their specific characteristics. We furthermore develop novel disease model mice and rats using genome editing technology of CRISPR/Cas9 system. We manage The National Bio Resource Project-Rat (NBRP-Rat), one of the largest rat resource center in the world. Welcome students to join our laboratory.

Laboratory members

Recent Publications

  1. Naruse C, Shibata S, Tamura M, Kawaguchi T, Abe K, Sugihara K, Kato T, Nishiuchi T, Wakana S, Ikawa M, Asano M. New insights on the role of Jmjd3 and Utx in axial skeletal formation in mice. FASEB J, 31: 2252-2266, 2017.
  2. Honda A, Choijookhuu N, Izu H, Kawano Y, Inokuchi M, Honsho K, Lee AR, Nabekura H, Ohta H, Tsukiyama T, Ohinata Y, Kuroiwa A, Hishikawa Y, Saitou M, Jogahara T, Koshimoto C. Flexible adaptation of male germ cells from female iPSCs of endangered Tokudaia osimensis. Sci. Adv.3: e1602179, 2017.
  3. Honda A, Kawano Y, Izu H, Choijookhuu N, Honsho K, Nakamura T, Yabuta Y, Takashima Y, Yamamoto T, Hirose M, Sankai T, Hishikawa Y, Ogura A, Saitou M. Discrimination of stem cell status after subjecting cynomolgus monkey pluripotent stem cells to naïve conversion. Scientific Reports 7: 45285, 2017.
  4. Abe K, Naruse C, Kato T, Nishiuchi T, Saitou M, Asano M. Loss of heterochromatin protein 1γ reduces the number of primordial germ cells via impaired cell-cycle progression. Biol. Reprod. 85: 1013-1024, 2011.
  5. Yoshihara T, Sugihara K, Kizuka Y, Oka S, Asano M. Learning/memory impairment and reduced expression of the HNK-1 carbohydrate in β4-galactosyltransferase-II-deficient mice. J. Biol. Chem. 284: 12550-12561, 2009.

Laboratory Animal Science

Professor: Masahide Asano
Associate Professor: Chie Naruse, Arata Honda
Assistant Professor: Toru Yoshihara