中野研究室Nakano Lab.

中野 直子 准教授Naoko Nakano
中野研究室Nakano Lab.
研究分野Research Area
免疫機能生物学Immune Regulation
研究テーマResearch theme




Naoko Nakano Associate Professor

Labo’s Website

Nakano Lab.
Research Category
Division of Molecular Pathology
Research theme
Molecular mechanisms of epidermal γδ T cell activation.
Antibody production against a model antigen induced in stressed cells.
Development and function of regulatory T cells.

The immune system is designed to protect our bodies by reacting to nonself-antigens. Invading pathogens are recognized by specific receptors that activate various cells of the innate immune system. These cells respond promptly and process pathogen-derived antigens to activate cells of the antigen-specific immune system. In addition to its role in preventing diseases caused by pathogens, the immune system also eliminates aberrantly proliferating host cells that have failed to undergo apoptosis. Immune surveillance through recognition of molecules expressed in dysregulated or stress-induced cells is thus a critical barrier to tumor development. However, the immune response to these predominantly self-antigens is often suppressed. Moreover, dysregulated responses to self-antigens may cause autoimmunity. The goal of our research is to identify novel methods to control anti-tumor immune responses. We developed experimental mouse models to induce precancerous dysregulation in the epidermis and showed that immune responses could be initiated by γδ T cells in a manner that was linked to the production of IgG specific for a stress-induced self-antigen. We are currently working on the molecular mechanisms underlying γδ T cell recognition of and activation by dysregulated autologous cells. As shown by our research interests listed below, we are also using mouse models to investigate the functions of γδ T cells in the induction of antigen-specific immune responses and the functions of regulatory T cells in the suppression of anti-tumor immune responses.