Centers & Labs

RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences

Laboratory for Immune Cell Systems

Group Director: Shigeo Koyasu (D.Sci.)
Shigeo  Koyasu(D.Sci.)

The immune system plays a critical role in host defense against invading microbes. Immune reactions are also involved in the maintenance of homeostasis in our bodies. It is believed that the interactions between the immune system, neuronal system and metabolism play important roles in the maintenance of homeostasis but little is known about the details of these interactions. We previously identified a new lymphoid tissue in mouse and human mesentery that we termed fat-associated lymphoid cluster (FALC). We discovered in the FALC a new innate lymphocyte subset that produces Th2 cytokines and named this new lymphocyte "Natural Helper (NH) Cell". Adipose tissues contain several immune cell types including NH cells, macrophages and regulatory T cells (Treg). Adipose tissues are important in the storage and consumption of energy but inflammation in adipose tissue resulting from a failure in homeostatic mechanisms leads to insulin resistance and eventually the onset of diabetes. We elucidate the immune cell network in adipose tissue in order to understand how immune cells and the metabolic system interact and control the homeostasis of metabolism.

Main Research Field

Medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy

Related Research Fields

Biological Sciences / Biology

Research Subjects

  • Role of natural helper cell innate immune system
  • Role of immune cells in metabolic homeostasis

Selected Publications

Papers with an asterisk(*) are based on research conducted outside of RIKEN.
  1. Moro, K., Kabata, H., Tanabe, M., Koga, S., Takeno, N., Mochizuki, M., Fukunaga, K., Asano, K., Betsuyaku, T. and Koyasu S.:
    "Interferon and IL-27 antagonize group 2 innate lymphoid cell function and type 2 innate immune responses."
    Nat. Immunol. 17: 76-86 (2016).
  2. Moro, K., Yamada, T., Tanabe, M., Takeuchi, T., Ikawa, T., Kawamoto, H., Furusawa, J.-I., Ohtani, M., Fujii, H. and Koyasu, S.:
    "Innate production of TH2 cytokines by adipose tissue-associated c-Kit+Sca-1+ lymphoid cells."
    Nature 463: 540-544 (2010).
  3. *Ohtani, M., Nagai, S., Kondo, S., Mizuno, S., Nakamura, K., Tanabe, M., Takeuchi, T., Matsuda, S. and Koyasu, S.:
    "Mammalian target of rapamycin and glycogen synthase kinase 3 differentially regulate LPS-induced IL-12 production in dendritic cells."
    Blood 112: 635-643 (2008).
  4. *Nagai, S., Mimuro, H., Yamada, T., Baba, Y., Moro, K., Nochi, T., Kiyono, H., Suzuki, T., Sasakawa, C. and Koyasu, S.:
    "Role of Peyer’s patches in Helicobacter pylori-induced gastritis."
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104: 8971-8976 (2007).
  5. *Ohteki, T., Tada, H., Ishida, K., Sato, T., Maki, C., Yamada, T., Hamuro, J. and Koyasu, S.
    "Essential roles of DC-derived IL-15 as a mediator of inflammatory responses in vivo."
    J. Exp. Med. 203: 2329-2338 (2006).
  6. *Suzuki, H., Matsuda, S., Terauchi, Y., Fujiwara, M., Ohteki, T., Asano, T., Behrens, T. W., Kouro, T., Takatsu, K., Kadowaki, T. and Koyasu, S.:
    "PI3K and Btk differentially regulate B cell antigen receptor mediated signal transduction."
    Nat. Immunol. 4: 280-286 (2003).
  7. *Fukao, T., Tanabe, M., Terauchi, Y., Ota, T., Matsuda, S., Asano, T., Kadowaki, T., Takeuchi, T. and Koyasu, S.:
    "PI3K-mediated negative feedback regulation of IL-12 production in dendritic cells."
    Nat. Immunol. 3: 875-881 (2002).
  8. *Fukao, T., Yamada, T., Tanabe, M., Terauchi, Y., Ota, T., Takayama, T., Asano, T., Takeuchi, T., Kadowaki, T., Hata, J. and Koyasu, S.:
    "Selective loss of gastrointestinal mast cells and impaired immunity in PI3K-deficient mice."
    Nat. Immunol. 3: 295-304 (2002).
  9. *Ohteki, T., Suzue, K., Maki, C., Ota, T., and Koyasu, S.:
    "Critical role of IL-15-IL-15R for antigen-presenting cell functions in the innate immune response."
    Nat. Immunol. 2: 1138-1143 (2001).
  10. *Suzuki, H., Terauchi, Y. Fujiwara, M., Aizawa, S., Yazaki, Y., Kadowaki, T. and Koyasu, S.:
    "Xid-like immunodeficiency in mice with disruption of the p85α subunit of phosphoinositide 3-kinase."
    Science 283: 390-392 (1999).

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Shigeo Koyasu
Group Director

Core Members

Kazuyo Moro
Senior Research Scientist
Natsuki Takeno
Technical Staff I
Miho Mochizuki
Technical Staff I
Sachika Wada
Technical Staff II

Contact information

1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku,
Yokohama City, Kanagawa,
230-0045, Japan
Tel: +81-(0)45-503-9687
Fax: +81-(0)45-503-9086

Email: shigeo.koyasu [at]

Related links

Recent research results