Centers & Labs

RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences

Laboratory for Immune Regulation

Group Director: Masaru Taniguchi (M.D., Ph.D)
Masaru  Taniguchi(M.D., Ph.D)

The immune system is composed of the innate and acquired systems. In order to achieve effective immune responses, NKT cell-mediated adjuvant activity is essential to help proliferation, expansion of immune cells and activation of their functions, mediating protection against pathogen infection and cancer, as well as maintenance of transplantation tolerance and also suppression of autoimmune disease development. We focus on the mechanisms of NKT cell function and development during thymocyte development. We also collaborate with Chiba University Hospital and National Hospital Organization on the clinical trial for NKT cell-targeted therapy on lung cancer and head & Neck tumor patients.

Main Research Field

Medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy

Related Research Fields

Biological Sciences / Biology

Research Subjects

  • Identification of genetic and epigenetic regulation governing stage specific NKT cell precursor transition to mature NKT cell development
  • Collaborate with Chiba University Hospital and National Hospital Organization on the clinical trial for NKT cell-targeted therapy on lung cancer and head & Neck tumor patients.

Selected Publications

  1. Seino K, Harada M, Taniguchi M.:
    "NKT cells are relatively resistant to apoptosis."
    Trends Immunol., 25, 219-221(2004).
  2. Watarai H, Nakagawa R, Omori-Miyake M, Nyambayar D, Taniguchi M.:
    "Methods for detection, isolation, and culture of mouse and human invariant NKT cells."
    Nat Protocols., 3, 70-78(2008).
  3. Terashima A, Watarai H, Inoue S, Sekine E, Nakagawa R, Hase K, Iwamura C, Nakajima H, Nakayama T, Taniguchi M.:
    "A novel subset of mouse NKT cells bearing the IL-17 receptor B responds to IL-25 and contributes to airway hyperreactivity."
    The Journal of Experimental Medicine, 205, 2727-2733(2008).
  4. Dashtsoodol N, Watarai H, Sakata S, Taniguchi M.:
    "Identification of CD4 CD8 Double-Negative Natural Killer T Cell Precursors in the Thymus."
    PLoS ONE, 3, e3688(2008).
  5. Watarai H, Rybouchkin A, Hongo N, Nagata Y, Sakata S, Sekine E, Dashtsoodol N, Tashiro T, Fujii SI, Shimizu K, Mori K, Masuda K, Kawamoto H, Koseki H, Taniguchi M.:
    "Generation of functional NKT cells in vitro from embryonic stem cells bearing rearranged invariant Va14-Ja18 TCRa gene."
    Blood, 115, 230-237 (2010).
  6. Fujii S, Motohashi S, Shimizu K, Nakayama T, Yoshiga Y, Taniguchi M.:
    "Adjuvant activity mediated by iNKT cells."
    Semin Immunol., 22, 97-102(2010).
  7. Watarai H, Fujii SI, Yamada D, Rybouchkin A, Sakata S, Nagata Y, Iida-Kobayashi M, Sekine-Kondo E, Shimizu K, Shozaki Y, Sharif J, Matsuda M, Mochiduki S, Hasegawa T, Kitahara G, Endo TA, Toyoda T, Ohara O, Harigaya KI, Koseki H, Taniguchi M.:
    "Murine induced pluripotent stem cells can be derived from and differentiate into natural killer T cells."
    J Clin Invest., 120, 2610–2618(2010).
  8. Motomura Y, Kitamura H, Hijikata A, Matsunaga Y, Matsumoto K, Inoue H, Atarashi K, Hori S, Watarai H, Zhu J, Taniguchi M, Kubo M.:
    "The transcription factor E4BP4 regulates the production of IL-10 and IL-13 in CD4+ T cells."
    Nat Immunol., 12, 450-9(2011).
  9. Watarai H, Sekine-Kondo E, Shigeura T, Motomura Y, Yasuda T, Satoh R, Yoshida H, Kubo M, Kawamoto H, Koseki H, Taniguchi M.:
    "Development and Function of Invariant Natural Killer T cells Producing TH2- and TH17-cytokines."
    PLoS Biology,10, e1001255(2012).
  10. Fujii S, Shimizu K, Okamoto Y, Kunii N, Nakayama T, Motohashi S, Taniguchi M.:
    "NKT Cells as an Ideal Anti-Tumor Immunotherapeutic."
    Front. Immunol. 4:1-7 (2013)

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Masaru Taniguchi
Group Director

Core Members

Nyambayar Dashtsoodol
Research Scientist
Ritsuko Ozawa
Technical Staff I
Tomokuni Shigeura
Technical Staff I
Minako Aihara
Technical Staff I

Contact information

1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku,
Yokohama City, Kanagawa,
230-0045, Japan
Tel: +81-(0)45-503-7008
Fax: +81-(0)45-503-7015

Email: masaru.taniguchi [at]

Related links

Recent research results

May 26, 2017: RIKEN RESEARCH
Natural born cancer killers