Machiko Shirahata, MD
Bloomberg School of Public Health
MD, Chiba University, 1985
PhD, Chiba University, 1985
The long-term objectives of my research have been (1) to understand chemosensing mechanisms of the carotid body and (2) to explore how the function of the carotid body is involved in human diseases.
The carotid body is practically a sole organ in the human body to detect a slight decrease in oxygen tension in the arterial blood. Systemic hypoxia is a potentially lethal situation for the animal, and the function of the carotid body is essential for protecting major organs from irreversible damages. Further, recent studies reveal that the carotid body is also essential for maintaining eupneic breathing. On the contrary from the previous belief, central respiratory center is strongly dependent on the carotid body function. In addition, the carotid body is highly sensitive to blood glucose levels. These new findings suggest that the carotid body play a central role for regulating energy metabolism by sensing the levels of oxygen, carbon dioxide and glucose. This notion has modified the way to view my research. The function of the carotid body is responsible to many developmentally related diseases and metabolic disorders that include, but not are limited to, sudden infant death syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea, essential hypertension, and diabetes. Understanding the fundamental mechanisms of the carotid body chemosensing will lead the prevention and treatment of these pathological conditions.
Honors and Awards
Advising, Mentoring & Teaching Recognition Award, by Student Association, JHBSPH 2008
Sponsor/Mentor for the following awards:
Chung Long Chou who received the Travel Award of Respiratory Neurobiology and Sleep in American Thoracic Society, 1995
Dr. Rodrogo Iturriaga who received the Research Career Enhancement Award of the American Physiological Society for acquiring new techniques at my laboratory 1998
Dr. Shigeki Yamaguchi who received the Travel Award of Respiratory Neurobiology and Sleep in American Thoracic Society 2002
Alexander Balbir who was invited to present for “Graduate Student Highlights in Respiratory Physiology” at Experimental Biology, 2004
Dr. Toshiki Otsubo who received the Young Investigator Award (Second Place) at International Society for Arterial chemoreceptio, 2005
Alexander Balbir who was invited to present for “Graduate Student Highlights in Respiratory Physiology” at Experimental Biology, 2006
Dr. Koichi Fujii who received the Travel Award at Integrative Cardiopulmonary Biology Workshop, 2006
Alexander Balbir who received the Travel Award at Integrative Cardiopulmonary Biology Workshop, 2006
Eric Kostuk who received the Young Investigator Travel Award at 11th International Symposium on Sleep and Breathing Conference, 2009
Luis Pichard who received Ruth L. Kirschsterin National Service Research Award (F31HL096450).
- Environmental Health Sciences, acetylcholine, carotid body, hypoxia, oxygen, nicotinic receptor, patch clamp, sleep apnea, neonatal, development, obesity, nutrition
1: Mkrtcian S, Kåhlin J, Ebberyd A, Gonzalez C, Sanchez D, Balbir A, Kostuk EW, Shirahata M, Jonsson Fagerlund M, Eriksson LI. The human carotid body transcriptome with focus on oxygen sensing and inflammation - a comparative analysis. J Physiol. 2012 Jun 25. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 22615433.
2: Shirahata M, Kostuk EW, Pichard LE. Carotid chemoreceptor development in mice. Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 2012 May 24. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID:22634368.
3: Kostuk EW, Balbir A, Fujii K, Fujioka A, Pichard LE, Shirahata M. Divergent postnatal development of the carotid body in DBA/2J and A/J strains of mice. J Appl Physiol. 2012 Feb;112(3):490-500. Epub 2011 Nov 10. PubMed PMID: 22074716; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3289426.
4: Adetobi-Oladele E, Ekejiuba SE, Shirahata M, Ruble S, Caparso A, Massari VJ. Cardiotopic organization of the functionally associated axons within the cervical vagus nerves that project to the ventricles of the cat heart. Cleve Clin J Med. 2011 Aug;78 Suppl 1:S84. PubMed PMID: 21972345.
5: Fitzgerald RS, Shirahata M, Chang I, Kostuk E, Kiihl S. The impact of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) on neurotransmitter release from the cat carotid body. Respir Physiol Neurobiol. 2011 May 31;176(3):80-9. Epub 2011 Feb 1. PubMed PMID: 21292043; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3095827.