Honors & Awards

  • CiRA RETREAT 2019 Outstanding poster award, Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (2019)
  • 2020 ASBMR Young Investigator Award, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (2020)

Stanford Advisors

All Publications

  • Differentiation of Hypertrophic Chondrocytes from Human iPSCs for the In Vitro Modeling of Chondrodysplasias STEM CELL REPORTS Pretemer, Y., Kawai, S., Nagata, S., Nishio, M., Watanabe, M., Tamaki, S., Alev, C., Yamanaka, Y., Xue, J., Wang, Z., Fukiage, K., Tsukanaka, M., Futami, T., Ikegawa, S., Toguchida, J. 2021; 16 (3): 610-625


    Chondrodysplasias are hereditary diseases caused by mutations in the components of growth cartilage. Although the unfolded protein response (UPR) has been identified as a key disease mechanism in mouse models, no suitable in vitro system has been reported to analyze the pathology in humans. Here, we developed a three-dimensional culture protocol to differentiate hypertrophic chondrocytes from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and examine the phenotype caused by MATN3 and COL10A1 mutations. Intracellular MATN3 or COL10 retention resulted in increased ER stress markers and ER size in most mutants, but activation of the UPR was dependent on the mutation. Transcriptome analysis confirmed a UPR with wide-ranging changes in bone homeostasis, extracellular matrix composition, and lipid metabolism in the MATN3 T120M mutant, which further showed altered cellular morphology in iPSC-derived growth-plate-like structures in vivo. We then applied our in vitro model to drug testing, whereby trimethylamine N-oxide led to a reduction of ER stress and intracellular MATN3.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.stemcr.2021.01.014

    View details for Web of Science ID 000631903000004

    View details for PubMedID 33636111

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7940258

  • Prophylactic treatment of rapamycin ameliorates naturally developing and episode -induced heterotopic ossification in mice expressing human mutant ACVR1 ORPHANET JOURNAL OF RARE DISEASES Maekawa, H., Kawai, S., Nishio, M., Nagata, S., Jin, Y., Yoshitomi, H., Matsuda, S., Toguchida, J. 2020; 15 (1): 122


    Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) is a rare autosomal-dominant disease characterized by heterotopic ossification (HO) in soft tissues and caused by a mutation of the ACVR1A/ALK2 gene. Activin-A is a key molecule for initiating the process of HO via the activation of mTOR, while rapamycin, an mTOR inhibitor, effectively inhibits the Activin-A-induced HO. However, few reports have verified the effect of rapamycin on FOP in clinical perspectives.We investigated the effect of rapamycin for different clinical situations by using mice conditionally expressing human mutant ACVR1A/ALK2 gene. We also compared the effect of rapamycin between early and episode-initiated treatments for each situation.Continuous, episode-independent administration of rapamycin reduced the incidence and severity of HO in the natural course of FOP mice. Pinch-injury induced HO not only at the injured sites, but also in the contralateral limbs and provoked a prolonged production of Activin-A in inflammatory cells. Although both early and injury-initiated treatment of rapamycin suppressed HO in the injured sites, the former was more effective at preventing HO in the contralateral limbs. Rapamycin was also effective at reducing the volume of recurrent HO after the surgical resection of injury-induced HO, for which the early treatment was more effective.Our study suggested that prophylactic treatment will be a choice of method for the clinical application of rapamycin for FOP.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/s13023-020-01406-8

    View details for Web of Science ID 000536945700004

    View details for PubMedID 32448372

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7245788

  • In vitro bone-like nodules generated from patient-derived iPSCs recapitulate pathological bone phenotypes NATURE BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING Kawai, S., Yoshitomi, H., Sunaga, J., Alev, C., Nagata, S., Nishio, M., Hada, M., Koyama, Y., Uemura, M., Sekiguchi, K., Maekawa, H., Ikeya, M., Tamaki, S., Jin, Y., Harada, Y., Fukiage, K., Adachi, T., Matsuda, S., Toguchida, J. 2019; 3 (7): 558-570


    The recapitulation of bone formation via the in vitro generation of bone-like nodules is frequently used to understand bone development. However, current bone-induction techniques are slow and difficult to reproduce. Here, we report the formation of bone-like nodules within ten days, via the use of retinoic acid (RA) to induce the osteogenic differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) into osteoblast-like and osteocyte-like cells that create human bone tissue when implanted in calvarial defects in mice. We also show that the induction of bone formation depends on cell signalling through the RA receptors RARα and RARβ, which simultaneously activate the BMP (bone morphogenetic protein) and Wnt signalling pathways. Moreover, by using patient-derived hiPSCs, the bone-like nodules recapitulated the osteogenesis-imperfecta phenotype, which was rescued via the correction of disease-causing mutations and partially by an mTOR (mechanistic target of rapamycin) inhibitor. The method of inducing bone nodules may serve as a fast and reproducible model for the study of the formation of both healthy and pathological bone.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41551-019-0410-7

    View details for Web of Science ID 000474416500012

    View details for PubMedID 31182836