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We previously reported that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) regulates both food intake and blood glucose metabolism in rodent obese diabetic models such as C57BL/KsJ-lepr(db)/lepr(db) (db/db) mice. To elucidate the effect of BDNF on glucose metabolism, we designed a novel pellet pair-feeding apparatus to eliminate the effect of appetite alteration(More)
The roles of autoimmune regulator (Aire)-expressing medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs) in the organization of the thymic microenvironment for establishing self-tolerance are enigmatic. We sought to monitor the production and maintenance of Aire-expressing mTECs by a fate-mapping strategy in which bacterial artificial chromosome transgenic (Tg) mice(More)
Factors that determine the spectrum of target organs involved in autoimmune destruction are poorly understood. Although loss of function of autoimmune regulator (AIRE) in thymic epithelial cells is responsible for autoimmunity, the pathogenic roles of AIRE in regulating target-organ specificity remain elusive. In order to gain insight into this issue, we(More)
Although the role of p21(Waf1/Cip1) gene expression is well documented in various cell culture studies, its in vivo roles are poorly understood. To gain further insight into the role of p21(Waf1/Cip1) gene expression in vivo, we attempted to visualize the dynamics of p21(Waf1/Cip1) gene expression in living animals. In this study, we established a(More)
It has recently become clear that signals mediated by members of the TNFR superfamily, including lymphotoxin-β receptor (LTβR), receptor activator for NF-κB (RANK), and CD40, play essential roles in organizing the integrity of medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs) required for the establishment of self-tolerance. However, details of the mechanism(More)
Expression of the p16(Ink4a) tumor suppressor gene, a sensor of oncogenic stress, is up-regulated by a variety of potentially oncogenic stimuli in cultured primary cells. However, because p16(Ink4a) expression is also induced by tissue culture stress, physiological mechanisms regulating p16(Ink4a) expression remain unclear. To eliminate any potential(More)
Understanding the cellular dynamics of Aire-expressing lineage(s) among medullary thymic epithelial cells (AEL-mTECs) is essential for gaining insight into the roles of Aire in establishment of self-tolerance. In this study, we monitored the maturation program of AEL-mTECs by temporal lineage tracing, in which bacterial artificial chromosome transgenic mice(More)
Controlled proteolytic degradation of specialized junctional structures, corneodesmosomes, by epidermal proteases is an essential process for physiological desquamation of the skin. Corneodesmosin (CDSN) is an extracellular component of corneodesmosomes and, although considerable debate still exists, genetic studies have suggested that the CDSN gene in the(More)
Essential roles of NF-κB-inducing kinase (NIK) for the development of medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs) and regulatory T cells have been highlighted by studies using a strain of mouse bearing a natural mutation of the NIK gene (aly mice). However, the exact mechanisms underlying the defect in thymic cross-talk leading to the breakdown of(More)
IkappaB kinase (IKK) alpha exhibits diverse biological activities through protein kinase-dependent and -independent functions, the former mediated predominantly through a noncanonical NF-kappaB activation pathway. The in vivo function of IKKalpha, however, still remains elusive. Because a natural strain of mice with mutant NF-kappaB-inducing kinase (NIK)(More)