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Department of Rheumatism and Collagen Disease

Our department is developed in October, 2015. To date, clinical and research center for rheumatology and clinical immunology was absent in Wakayama area for a long time. Now, our department physicians are dedicated to the diagnosis and management of systemic autoimmune and inflammatory diseases through clinical research focused on autoantibodies and inflammatory mediators in patient samples.

Interestingly, a variety of autoantibodies is sometimes recognized in sera from patients with systemic autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. Professor Fujii continues to work with clinical significance of anti-nuclear antibodies in cerebrospinal fluid from patients with neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus and their indirect pathogenic roles. Also, a special subset of anti-citrullinated protein antibodies and immunogenicity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis is studied by collaboration with the Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology in Kyoto University.

Fig 1. Anti-nuclear antibody detection in patients with systemic autoimmune diseases (Indirect immunofluorescence)

Fig 2. Anti-U1 ribonucleoprotein (RNP) antibodies in neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus (NPSLE)

Our specialized research is:

  • Anti-U1 ribonucleoprotein (RNP) antibodies in cerebrospinal fluid from patients with neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus
  • An association between anti-nuclear antibodies, inflammatory mediators, and anti-drug antibodies in patients with rheumatoid arthritis receiving biological disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs
  • Clinical significance of autoantibodies against mutated citrullinated vimentin in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

References (Recent works in Kyoto University):

  1. Yoshimasa Fujita, Takao Fujii, Ran Nakashima, Masao Tanaka, and Tsuneyo Mimori. Aseptic meningitis in mixed connective tissue disease: cytokine and anti-U1RNP antibodies in cerebrospinal fluids from two different cases. Mod Rheumatol 2008; 18: 184-188.
  2. Takao Fujii, Masato Okada, Yoshimasa Fujita, Takeshi Sato, Masao Tanaka, Takashi Usui, Hisanori Umehara, and Tsuneyo Mimori. Vaccination with autoreactive CD4+Th1 clones in lupus-prone MRL/Mp-Faslpr/lpr mice. J Autoimmun 2009; 33: 125-134.
  3. Takeshi Sato, Takao Fujii, Tomoko Yokoyama, Yoshimasa Fujita, Yoshitaka Imura, Naoichiro Yukawa, Daisuke Kawabata, Takaki Nojima, Koichiro Ohmura, Takashi Usui, and Tsuneyo Mimori. Anti-U1 RNP antibodies in cerebrospinal fluid are associated with central neuropsychiatric manifestations in systemic lupus erythematosus and mixed connective tissue disease. Arthritis Rheum 2010; 62: 3730-3740.
  4. Naoichiro Yukawa, Takao Fujii, Seiko Kondo-Ishikawa, Hajime Yoshifuji, Daisuke Kawabata, Takaki Nojima, Koichiro Ohmura, Takashi Usui, and Tsuneyo Mimori. Correlation of antinuclear antibody and anti-double-stranded DNA antibody with clinical response to infliximab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a retrospective clinical study. Arthritis Res Ther 2011; 13: R213.
  5. Masayoshi Nakano, Takao Fujii, Motomu Hashimoto, Naoichiro Yukawa, Hajime Yoshifuji, Koichiro Ohmura, Akihiko Nakaizumi, and Tsuneyo Mimori. Type I interferon induces CX3CL1 (fractalkine) and CCL5 (RANTES) production in human pulmonary endothelial cells. Clin Exp Immunol 2012;170:94-100.
  6. Masakazu Washio, Takao Fujii, Masataka Kuwana, Yasushi Kawaguchi, Akio Mimori, Takahiko Horiuchi, Yoshifumi Tada, Hiroki Takahashi, Tsuneyo Mimori, and Japan MCTD study group. Lifestyle and other related factors for the development of mixed connective tissue disease among Japanese females in comparison with systemic lupus erythematosus. Mod Rheumatol 2014;24:788-792.
  7. Tomoko Yokoyama, Takao Fujii, Seiko Kondo-Ishikawa, Noriyuki Yamakawa, Masayoshi Nakano, Naoichiro Yukawa, Hajime Yoshifuji, Koichiro Ohmura, and Tsuneyo Mimori. Association between anti-U1 ribonucleoprotein antibodies and inflammatory mediators in cerebrospinal fluid of patients with neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus. Lupus 2014;23:635-642.
  8. Yoshimasa Fujita, Takao Fujii, Tsuneyo Mimori, Tomomi Sato, Takuji Nakamura, Haruka Iwao, Akio Nakajima, Miyuki Miki, Tomoyuki Sakai, Takafumi Kawanami, Masao Tanaka, Yasufumi Masaki, Toshihiro Fukushima, Toshiro Okazaki, and Hisanori Umehara. Defecient leptin signaling ameliorates systemic lupus erythematosus lesions in MRL/Mp-Faslpr mice. J Immunol 2014;192: 979-984.
  9. Motomu Hashimoto, Takao Fujii, Masahide Hamaguchi, Moritoshi Furu, Hiromu Ito, Chikashi Terao, Keiichi Yamamoto, Wataru Yamamoto, Takashi Matsuo, Masato Mori, Koichiro Ohmura, Hiroshi Kawabata, and Tsuneyo Mimori. Increase of hemoglobin levels by anti-IL-6 receptor antibody (tocilizumab) in rheumatoid arthritis. PLoS One 2014;9:e98202.
  10. Takao Fujii. Direct and Indirect pathogenic roles of autoantibodies in systemic autoimmune diseases. Allergol Int 2014;63:515-522.

Staffs

Professor Takao Fujii, MD, PhD
Lecturer Naoichiro Yukawa, MD, PhD
Lecturer Etsuko Maeshima, MD, PhD
Postdoctoral Associate Katsunori Tanaka , MD
Postdoctoral Associate Ryo Matsumiya , MD
Postdoctoral Associate Kanako Furukawa, MD, PhD
Senior Resident Kayoko Tabata , MD