Frog development (under construction)
Introduction to Development (under construction)
Regeneration studies (under construction)
Endocrine disruptors (under construction)
Page for highschool students (under construction)
Tested by Internet Explorer 8 (Win), Last update: 29 March 2011
Outline of the laboratory:
I am studying cell differentiations using frog embryos
and mammalian pleuripotent stem cells
One of the key in the differentiation of mesoderm
resides in the T-box transcription factors
that are transcribed early in its formation.
It has been revealed that many tissue or organ formations, in addition to mesoderm formation in itself, become defective if we suppress the activities of those factors.
I am also engaged in culturing mammalian ES and iPS cells. One of the attempts
include the differentiation of neural crest cells
from mouse ES cells
in serum- or feeder cells-free conditions.
I am aiming at integrating the knowledge from frog development and mammalian
cells for the better understainding of organ formation of vertebrates.
Upper and lower left photograph show Xenopus laevis.
They are native to Africa, and living mostly in under water. Length from
the tip of head to the cloaca is about 10 cm, and they are flat, as shown
in this photo. Tree out of five fingers in the leg have nails, so they
are called African clawed frogs.
Wild type (upper) have greenish black patterns, wheareas albinos (lower
left) are totally white with their eyes reddish due to the blood.
Silurana tropicalis (also called Xenopus tropicalis)
is a related species. Due to its smaller genome size, shorter life cycles,
and availability in transgenic techniques, they are also widely used in
frog research. In my impression, they seem to be fond of looking outside
from the water surface with a relaxed posture.
We can obtain fertilized eggs by injecting human chorionic gonadotrophins
all year. The next day after injection, they lay 1000 - 3000 eggs in a
day. This property is convenient for us, considering that most other frogs
lay eggs only in spring (once a year).
Albino eggs are white, and therefore most useful in such experiments as
when or where a gene of interest is being transcribed.