Faculty of Medicine University of Miyazaki


SATO, Katsuaki, Ph.D.



Dendritic cells (DCs) are leukocytes that consist of heterogeneous subsets, including conventional DCs (cDCs) and plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs). Accumulating evidence suggests that DCs are essential antigen-presenting cells (APCs) that link innate and adaptive immunity under inflammatory conditions and also induce immunological tolerance to maintain immune homeostasis under steady-state conditions. Furthermore, DC functions can be controlled by various intrinsic factors and extrinsic stimulations. However, the precise functional role of each DC subset in immune responses remains unclear. Our goal is to clarify the role of DC subsets in the immune system and to identify the molecular basis for the regulation of their function.

Research Projects

  1. Analysis of the role of DC subsets in the control of immune response and pathogenesis.
  2. Analysis of the molecular basis for the regulation of the function of DC subsets.
  3. Development of a novel cell-based immunotherapy for the immunopathogenic diseases (inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, allergy, graft rejection, and GVHD).
  4. Development of a novel tumor vaccine formulation.

Lab Techniques

  1. Isolation and culture of immune cells from organ and tissue.
  2. Assay for immune cell function in vivo and in vitro.
  3. Detection of the expression of gene and protein (e.g., PCR, Southern blotting, Western blotting, ELISA).
  4. Generation of gene-modified protein, cells and mouse by molecular biology techs (e.g., mutagenesis, retroviral gene transduction, gene knock-out / knock-in) .
  5. Flow cytometry and cell sorting (immunolabeling [FACS and MACS]).
  6. Histological observation (e.g., immunostaining [confocal microscopy]).
  7. Assay for immunopathogenesis in murine models.

International Collaboration

  1. Centre d’Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy, UM2 Aix-Marseille Université, Marseille, France.
  2. Department of Immunology and Microbial Science, The Scripps Research Institute, USA.


  1. Uto, T. et al. Clec4A4 is a regulatory receptor for dendritic cells that impairs inflammation and T-cell immunity. Nat. Commun., 7:11273, 2016. doi: 10.1038/ncomms11273.
  2. Takagi, H. et al. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells orchestrate TLR7-mediated innate and adaptive immunity for the initiation of autoimmune inflammation. Sci. Rep., 6:24477, 2016. doi: 10.1038/srep24477.
  3. Fukaya, T. et al. Conditional ablation of CD205+ conventional dendritic cells impacts the regulation of T cell immunity and homeostasis in vivo. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 109:11288-11293, 2012. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1202208109.
  4. Takagi, H. et al. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells are crucial for the initiation of inflammation and T cell immunity in vivo. Immunity, 35:958-971, 2011. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2011.10.014.
  5. Fukaya, T. et al. Crucial roles of B7-H1 and B7-DC expressed on mesenteric lymph node dendritic cells in the generation of antigen-specific CD4+Foxp3+ regulatory T cells in the establishment of oral tolerance. Blood, 116:2266-2276, 2010. doi: 10.1182/blood-2009-10-250472.
  6. Sato, K. et al. Naturally occurring regulatory dendritic cells regulate murine cutaneous chronic graft-versus-host disease. Blood, 113:4780-4789, 2009. doi: 10.1182/blood-2008-10-183145.
  7. Fujita, S. et al. Regulatory dendritic cells protect against allergic airway inflammation in a murine asthmatic model. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol., 121: 95-104, 2008. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2007.08.038.