Kinji Ohno, Ph.D., M.D. | Nagoya University
Competition Sponsor: Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development
Awardee Year: 2020
Accumulating knowledge points to the notion that abnormally accumulated protein aggregates (α-synuclein fibrils) in the intestinal neural plexus behave like prions and extend into the brain to develop Parkinson’s disease (PD), and that intestinal microbiota plays essential roles in these mechanisms. Meta-analysis of gut dysbiosis in PD in five countries including our own cohort revealed that mucin-degrading Akkermansia muciniphila is increased in PD and that a set of short-chain fatty acid (SCFA)-producing bacteria are decreased in PD. Indeed, the gut becomes leaky and fecal SCFA concentrations are decreased in our PD patients. We also identified a mediator released from the SCFA-stimulated enteroendocrine cells, observed the effects of SCFA and the mediator in PD mouse models. Specific AIMs of the current proposal are to develop therapeutic modalities to increase intestinal SCFA and to activate the mediator for the realization of a society of health and longevity.
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View this project poster, first displayed at the 2021 Global Innovator Summit