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November 25, 2013


Western diet consumption and cognitive impairment: links to hippocampal dysfunction and obesity.



Physiol Behav. 2011 Apr 18;103(1):59-68. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2010.12.003. Epub 2010 Dec 16.


Kanoski SE, Davidson TL.

University of Pennsylvania, Department of Psychology, Philadelphia, PA, United States.



Intake of saturated fats and simple carbohydrates, two of the primary components of a modern Western diet, is linked with the development of obesity and Alzheimer's Disease. The present paper summarizes research showing that Western diet intake is associated with cognitive impairment, with a specific emphasis on learning and memory functions that are dependent on the integrity of the hippocampus.


simple carbohydrates 単純糖質
cognitive impairment 認知機能障害

The paper then considers evidence that saturated fat and simple carbohydrate intake is correlated with neurobiological changes in the hippocampus that may be related to the ability of these dietary components to impair cognitive function.


Finally, a model is described proposing that Western diet consumption contributes to the development of excessive food intake and obesity, in part, by interfering with a type of hippocampal-dependent memory inhibition that is critical in the ability of animals to refrain from responding to environmental cues associated with food, and ultimately from consuming energy intake in excess of that driven solely by caloric need.


environmental cue:環境要因


High fat diet increases hippocampal oxidative stress and cognitive impairment in aged mice: implications for decreased Nrf2 signaling.


NRF2:核呼吸因子2 (抗酸化機能を持つ様々な遺伝子の転写因子)

A high-fat, refined sugar diet reduces hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor, neuronal plasticity, and learning.


neurotrophic factor 神経栄養因子


神経可塑性 neural plasticity:神経系の機能は遺伝情報によってすべてが決定されているわけではなく、生後の種々の内的・外的環境によって変化する。神経系の機能の特徴の一つが可塑性である。
痛みと鎮痛の基礎知識 - Pain Reliefより


西洋食(高飽和脂肪・精製炭水化物食HFS 食)のヒト認知および脳への影響





November 22, 2013


A Slow, Loving, 'Affective' Touch May Be Key to a Healthy Sense of Self. Science daily より


Healthy Sense of Self 健全な自己感覚

A loving touch, characterized by a slow caress or stroke -- often an instinctive gesture from a mother to a child or between partners in romantic relationships -- may increase the brain's ability to construct a sense of body ownership and, in turn, play a part in creating and sustaining a healthy sense of self.


These findings come from a new study published online in Frontiers of Psychology, led by Neuropsychoanalysis Centre Director Dr. Aikaterini (Katerina) Fotopoulou, University College London, and NPSA grantee Dr. Paul Mark Jenkinson of the Department of Psychology, University of Hertfordshire in the UK.

これらの研究結果はFrontiers of Psychologyのオンラインに発表されたしい研究によります。この研究は神経精神分析センター所長Dr. Aikaterini (Katerina) Fotopoulou、ロンドン大学および英国のハートフォードシャー大学、心理学科、NPSA受領者Dr. Paul Mark Jenkinsonの主導で行われた。

The study, of 52 healthy adults, used a common experimental technique known as the rubber hand illusion, in which participants' brains are tricked into believing that a strategically placed rubber hand is their own. As they watch the rubber hand being stroked in synchrony with their own, they begin to think that the fake hand belongs to them. This technique demonstrates the changeable nature of the brain's perception of the body.


rubber hand illusion ラバーハンド錯覚

Affective touch, characterised by slow speed tactile stimulation of the skin (between 1 and 10cm per second) has been previously correlated with pleasant emotion and has also been seen to improve symptoms of anxiety and other emotional symptoms in certain groups of adults and infants. Dr. Fotopoulou's team wanted to test whether affective touch would affect the brain's understanding of the body and body ownership.

皮膚の低速触覚刺激(毎秒1 と10cmとの間)によって特徴づけられる情動性タッチは、以前に快情動と相関していて、また、成人および幼児の特定郡において不安症状や他の情動的症状の改善が見られたことを確認した。Dr. Fotopoulou'sのチームは、情動性タッチが身体および身体の所有感の脳理解に影響を及ぼうすかどうかを検査することを望んでいた。

tactile stimulation 触覚刺激

The team adapted the 'rubber hand' technique to incorporate four different types of touch, including a synchronized and asynchronized, slow, affective touch and a faster neutral touch, again in synchronous and asynchronous patterns. Participants were also asked to complete a standardized 'embodiment' questionnaire, to measure their subjective experience during the experiment.


The results confirmed previous findings that slow, light touch is perceived as being more pleasant than fast touch. More importantly, the study demonstrated that slow tactile stimulation made participants more likely to believe that the rubber hand was their own, compared with the faster neutral touch.


The perception of affective touch in the brain is one of a number of interoceptive signals that help us monitor homeostasis. This study provides new evidence to support the existing idea that interoceptive signals, such as affective touch, play an important role in how the brain learns to construct a mental picture and an understanding of the body, which ultimately helps to create a coherent sense of self.


nteroceptive signals:内受容性シグナル

Decreased sensitivity to and awareness of interoceptive signals, such as affective touch, have been linked to body image problems, unexplained pain, anorexia nervosa and bulimia."As affective touch is typically received from a loved one, these findings further highlight how close relationships involve behaviors that may play a crucial role in the construction of a sense of self," said Laura Crucianelli, the researcher who carried out the study.


unexplained pain 原因不明の痛み
anorexia nervosa:拒食症、神経性無食欲症

"The next step for our team," concluded Dr. Katerina Fotopoulou, "is to examine whether being deprived of social signals, such as affective touch from a parent during early development, may also lead to abnormalities in the formation of a healthy body image and a healthy sense of self, for example in patients with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa."

“Dr. Katerina Fotopoulou博士が結論づけたように”、私たちのチームの次のステップは、また、幼児期発達中に親からの情動性タッチなどの社会的信号を奪われることは、例えば拒食症などの摂食障害の患者で、健康的ボディーイメージおよび健康的な自己意識の形成の異常に結びつくかどうかを調べることであった。

Boosting interoceptive awareness and an individual's sense of body ownership could be key to developing future treatments for some of these conditions, and the sensation of 'affective touch' could play an important role.


Interoceptive awareness:内受容感覚への気づき

Interoceptive awarenessの訳語を調べているときに見つけた

独立行政法人国立精神・神経医療研究センター 脳病態統合イメージングセンターより


Damasioらは、特にWilliams Jamesらの考え方をベースにして、意思決定や意識、主観的な感情体験などは、身体の状態を基礎として形成される、という一連の考えを提唱している[23]。

特に「ソマティック・マーカー仮説」と呼ばれる考え方(意志決定は「合理的、理性的」になされると考えられがちであるが、実際は、無意識のうちに起こる身体的な反応がそのオプションを絞り込み、合理的思考が働くのはそのあとである、という考え)は多くの支持を呼んだ。また、DamasioやCraigは、島皮質が、身体表象から主観的な感情体験を生み出すもとであると考えている。Craigは、「内受容感覚」への気づき(Interoceptive awareness)が情動・意識を生み出すもとであり、それには前島皮質が関与しているというエビデンスを詳細にレビューし、従来不明な部分が多かった島皮質の機能を明るみにしたものとして注目されている[16] [17]。

 100年以上前から続く、James-Lange、 Schachter-Singerなどの情動理論からは、やはり心身が不可分で密接につながっているという認識から、情動や意識の問題を扱っていたのだが、現在になってその考えが見直されてきている。今後は、身体→脳、脳→身体という双方向のダイナミズムが脳科学の研究の対象になっていき、心身症の病態解明にすすむことが予想される。






November 07, 2013


Brain Tumor Cells Killed by Anti-Nausea Drug Science dailyより


Anti-Nausea Drug 抗嘔吐薬

New research from the University of Adelaide has shown for the first time that the growth of brain tumors can be halted by a drug currently being used to help patients recover from the side effects of chemotherapy

The discovery has been made during a study looking at the relationship between brain tumors and a peptide associated with inflammation in the brain, called "substance P."


Substance P is commonly released throughout the body by the nervous system, and contributes to tissue swelling following injury. In the brain, levels of substance P greatly increase after traumatic brain injury and stroke.


tissue swelling 組織腫脹
Traumatic brain injury外傷性脳損傷

"Researchers have known for some time that levels of substance P are also greatly increased in different tumor types around the body," says Dr Elizabeth Harford-Wright, a postdoctoral fellow in the University's Adelaide Centre for Neuroscience Research.

"研究者はサブスタンスPのレベルも大幅に体の周囲の様々な腫瘍タイプで増加していることをしばらく前から知っていた。“とアドレード大学神経科学研究の博士研究員、Dr Elizabeth Harford-Wrightは述べている。

"We wanted to know if these elevated levels of the peptide were also present in brain tumor cells, and if so, whether or not they were affecting tumor growth. Importantly, we wanted to see if we could stop tumor growth by blocking substance P."


In laboratory studies for her PhD, Dr Harford-Wright found that levels of substance P were greatly increased in brain tumor tissue.

彼女の博士号基礎研究で、Dr Harford-WrighはサブスタンスPのレベルが脳腫瘍細胞で大幅に上昇していたことを解明した。

laboratory study基礎研究

Knowing that substance P binds to a receptor called NK1, Dr Harford-Wright used an antagonist drug called Emend® to stop substance P binding to the receptor. Emend® is already used in cancer clinics to help patients with chemotherapy-induced nausea.

サブスタンスPがニューロキニン1(NK1)と呼ばれる受容体に結合することを知って、Dr Harford-Wrightはイメンド呼ばれる拮抗薬を用いて、サブスタンスPの受容体結合を阻止した。イメンドはすでに化学療法誘発吐き気患者に役立てるためにがんクリニックで使用されている。

antagonist drug 拮抗薬
Emend イメンド(選択的NK1受容体拮抗型制吐剤でがん治療による悪心、吐き気の防止に効果のある薬)

The results were startling.


"We were successful in blocking substance P from binding to the NK1 receptor, which resulted in a reduction in brain tumor growth -- and it also caused cell death in the tumor cells," Dr Harford-Wright says.

“私たちはNK1受容体に結合することによってサブスタンスPをブロックすることに成功して、そのことは結果的に脳腫瘍増殖を減少させて、また、それは腫瘍細胞の細胞死を引き起こした。とDr Harford-Wrightは述べている。

"So preventing the actions of substance P from carrying out its role in brain tumors actually halted the growth of brain cancer.


"This is a very exciting result, and it offers further opportunities to study possible brain tumor treatments over the coming years."










それで、ジンヤーとサブスタンスPを検索したとこと, PUBMEDで下記の記事が出ていました。

Effect of gingerol on substance P and NK1 receptor expression in a vomiting model of mink.





November 05, 2013


New Insights Into How Genes Turn On and Off Science dailyより


Researchers at UC Davis and the University of British Columbia have shed new light on methylation, a critical process that helps control how genes are expressed. Working with placentas, the team discovered that 37 percent of the placental genome has regions of lower methylation, called partially methylated domains (PMDs), in which gene expression is turned off. This differs from most human tissues, in which 70 percent of the genome is highly methylated.


While PMDs have been identified in cell lines, this is the first time they have been found in regular human tissue. In addition to enhancing our understanding of epigenetics, this work could influence cancer research and help illuminate how environmental toxins affect fetal development. The paper was published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).


regular connective tissue定形結合組織
environmental toxins 環境毒素
fetal development 胎児発育

Since it was unraveled more than ten years ago, the human genome has been the focus of both popular interest and intense scientific focus. But the genome doesn't act alone; there are many factors that influence whether genes are turned on or off. One of these is an epigenetic process called methylation, in which a group of carbon and hydrogen atoms (a methyl group) attaches to DNA, adjusting how genes are expressed.


"I like to think of epigenetics as a layer on top of your genetic code," said senior author Janine LaSalle, professor of medical microbiology and immunology. "It's not the DNA sequence but it layers on top of that -- and methylation is the first layer. Those layers provide a lot of information to the cells on where and when to turn on the genes."

“私はあなたの遺伝子コード上に層としてエピジェネティックを考えるのが好きです。”と医学部微生物学免疫学の教授、第一著者Janine LaSalleは述べた。“それはDNA配列ではないが、それはDNA上の層である、メチル化は第一層である。これらの層はいつどこで遺伝子をオンにするかに関して細胞に多くの情報を提供します。

How and when genes are activated (or inactivated) can have a profound impact on human development, cancer and the biological legacy of environmental toxins. Prior to this research, PMDs had only been found in cultured cell lines, which led some scientists to wonder if they existed outside the test tube. This study confirms they exist in placental tissue, a critically important window into fetal development.


biological legacy 生物学的遺産
fetal development 胎児発育

"The placenta is the interface between mother and fetus," said LaSalle, who is a researcher affiliated with the UC Davis MIND Institute. "It's a time capsule from when a lot of important methylation events occurred."

“胎盤は母と胎児とのインターフェイスであると”、カリフォルニア大学デービス校のM.I.N.D. Institute所属のLaSalleは述べた。それは多くのメチル化が発生した時からのタイムカプセルだ。

Fetus 胎児 (人間では受胎後約 3 か月目からのもの)

In addition, placental tissue was interesting to study because it has a number of invasive characteristics often associated with cancer. In fact, a number of cancers, such as breast and colon, have widespread PMDs. LaSalle notes that anti-cancer epigenetic therapies that adjust methylation could be refined based on this improved understanding of PMDs.


invasive 浸潤

This work could also enhance our ability to detect genetic defects. Methylation, and other epigenetic data, provides information that cannot be found in the genome alone. For example, the vast majority of cells in the body contain identical genetic code. However, the added information provided by methylation allows scientists to determine where specific DNA came from.
また、この研究は遺伝子異常の検出力を増強することが出来るだろう。メチル化、および他のエピジェネティック データは、ゲノム単独で見つけることの出来ない情報を提供する。例えば、
大部分の体内細胞は同一の遺伝子コードを含んでいる。 しかし、メチル化によって付加された追加情報は特異的DNAがどこから来たかを科学者に決定させます。

"Methylation patterns are like fingerprints, showing which tissue that DNA is derived from," LaSalle said. "You can't get that information from just the DNA sequence. As a result, methylation studies could be a very rich source for biomarkers."


In the study, PMDs encompassed 37 percent of the placental genome, including 3,815 genes, around 17 percent of all genes. When found in low-methylation regions, these genes were less likely to be transcribed into proteins. Researchers also found that PMDs also contain more highly methylated CpG islands (genomic areas with large numbers of cytosine-guanine pairs), which are often associated with gene transcriptional silencing of promoters.


cytosine-guanine pairs シトシン‐グアニン塩基対

Because the placental PMDs contained many genes associated with neuronal development, and specifically autism, LaSalle notes that future research could investigate how epigenetics impacts autism genes at birth.


"We are looking for biomarkers that predict neurodevelopmental outcomes," LaSalle said. "Now we have a series of snap shots from a critical period where we think environmental factors are playing a role in the developing brain."

"私たちは、神経発達の転帰を予測するバイオマーカーを探していますと、 " LaSalleラサールは述べた。 "今、私たちは環境因子が脳の発達に役割を果たしている時期からの一連のスナップショットを持っています。

neurodevelopmental outcomes 神経発達の転帰




DNAメチル化は遺伝子転写の重要な調節装置であり、異常なDNAメチル化が予定外の遺伝子サイレンシングと関連していること、プロモーター領域に高いレベルの5-メチルシトシン(英語版)を含む遺伝子は転写が休止していることが、多くの証拠から明らかにされている。DNAメチル化は、胚の発達に必須であり、体細胞ではDNAメチル化の様式は一般的に高い忠実性を持って娘細胞に受け継がれる。異常DNAメチル化様式は、多くのヒト悪性腫瘍と関連しており正常組織と比較して過剰メチル化と低メチル化の2つの異なる形がある。過剰メチル化は、がん抑制遺伝子のプロモーター領域に作用し転写を抑制する主要なエピジェネティク修飾の1つである。過剰メチル化は通常プロモーター領域のCpGアイランドで起こり、遺伝子の不活性化と関連している。広範囲な低メチル化もまた、異なる機構でのがんの発達および悪性化と関連している[12]。 遺伝子プロモーター領域のメチル化による遺伝子不活化の例として、ヒト乳癌、子宮癌におけるエストロジェン受容体欠如、非遺伝性乳癌におけるBRCA1の不活性化をあげることができる。


遺伝子サイレンシング(英:gene silencing、遺伝子抑制、ジーンサイレンシング)[1]とは一般に、クロマチンへの後天的な修飾により遺伝子を制御する、いわゆるエピジェネティクス的遺伝子制御のことを示す[2]。









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