|Junya Toguchida M.D., Ph.D.
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The main study in our laboratory is the regeneration of mesenchymal tissues, such as bone, cartilage, and muscle. The functions of the skeleton and locomotive organs made up of mesenchymal tissues may be reduced or lost due to various causes, which markedly impairs daily living activities. Currently, lost functions are recovered mainly by surgery, but not all pathologies can be dealt with surgically. Our goal is the development of a new treatment method by applying knowledge and techniques of regenerative medicine for skeletal and locomotive organ pathologies with dysfunctions unable to be recovered by surgery. At present, we employ mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) as the cell source for tissue regeneration. MSC are tissue stem cells with the potential to differentiate into various mesenchymal system cells, such as osteocytes, chondrocytes, and adipocytes. Clinical application has been initiated in Japan by several groups including us, but knowledge concerning their biology is still insufficient. We aim to clarify the characteristics of MSC by inducing mesenchymal cells from pluripotent stem cells, such as ES and iPS cells, and comparing them with MSC through extensive analyses such as genome-wide gene expression array.