Hokkaido UniversityThe Sonoyama Lab
Laboratory of Gut Physiology, Graduate School of Life Science
Laboratory of Food Biochemistry, Faculty of Agriculture

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    Our research subject is the mutually beneficial relationships between gut microbes and host. In particular, we are interested in the immune response, inflammatory reaction, and energy/lipid metabolism in response to changes in gut microbial structure. In terms of applied science, we investigate whether pre/probiotics prevent and/or treat some diseases including allergy, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. Furthermore, we are also interested in the mutualism between gut microbiota and hibernating mammals. Hibernation essentially involves periods of fasting that is known to affect the gut microbiota in nonhibernating mammals such as mice. Given that the gut microbiota plays important roles in mammalian tissue development and homeostasis, it is of interest to investigate the changes in the gut microbiota and gut epithelial structure and function that may take place during hibernation.
    To address these issues, we employ animal and cell culture experiments and a variety of analytical methods based on histology, cell biology, biochemistry, and molecular biology. To analyze gut microbial structure, we employ cultivation-independent molecular biological methods based on bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences including denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA fragments.

Key words
Gut microbiota   Gut mucosal barrier                    Gut mucosal immunology
Allergy               Obesity                                        Metabolic syndrome
Dietary fiber       Non-digestible oligosaccharide   Prebiotics@@@Probiotics
Candida albicans

Contact address
Laboratory of Food Biochemistry
Graduate School of Agriculture, Hokkaido University
Kita-9, Nishi-9, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-8589 Japan
FAX +81-11-706-2496