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Ito, Aki

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Aki Ito
Title:
Assistant Project Scientist Investigator
Office Address: 2425 Stockton Blvd., RM 601
Sacramento, CA 95817
Office Phone:
(916) 453-2267
E-Mail Address: aito@ucdavis.edu
Education: Meiji Pharmaceutical University (Japan) Pharmacist, PhD
Research Papers: Click Here for Research Paper Links

Research Interests:

Axonal Regeneration and motoneuron survival after injury

Current Research:

Current Research: Axonal regeneration is generally required to recapitulate a developmental process. Damaged neurons need to survive after the insult, extend their axons along a correct path towards their targets, and form functional terminals at the targets. Axonal injury first activates immediate early gene, c-Jun, a downstream target of the JNK pathway, and this activation is essential for axon outgrowth after axonal injury. C-Jun activation is mainly mediated by the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway, one of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways. The JNK pathway consists of three phosphorelay modules, JNK and the upstream kinases, MAPK kinases (MAP2K) and MAPK kinase kinases (MAP3K). ZPK/DLK is preferentially expressed in the nervous systems during development. ZPK/DLK regulates radial migration of immature neocortical neurons during development of the cerebral cortex. Moreover, ZPK/DLK homologues, DLK-1 (Caenorhabditis elegans) and wallenda (Drosophila) have been shown to be a downstream target of the E3 ubiquitin ligase, RPM-1 and Highwire, respectively, which negatively controls synaptogenesis. Overactivation of the MAPK pathway caused by defective mutations of the E3 ubiquitin ligase results aberrant terminal formation of presynaptic neurons. We are investigating the molecular mechanisms of survival and axonal regeneration of neurons after injury and found that ZPK/DLK mediates axonal regeneration of primary sensory neurons via c-Jun activation, and that ZPK/DLK deficiency inhibits NPCD of motoneurons during development and excess motoneurons survive without connection to their targets. We continue to investigate roles of ZPK/DLK in survival and axonal regeneration of neurons after injury.


Noteworthy Publications:

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AUTHOR(s)
YEAR
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ZPK/DLK and MKK4 form the critical gateway to axotomy-induced motoneuron death in neonates. J Neurosci. 2014 in press Itoh T, Horiuchi M, Ikeda Jr R., Xu J, Bannerman P, Pleasure D, Penninger P, Tournier C, Itoh A 2014



Interferon regulatory factor 8/interferon consensus sequence binding protein is a critical transcription factor for the physiological phenotype of microglia. J Neuroinflammation. 2012; 28;9:227. Horiuchi M, Wakayama K, Itoh A, Kawai K, Pleasure D, Ozato K, Itoh T. 2012

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Neurite outgrowth in fibrin gels is regulated by substrate stiffness. Tissue Engineering: Part A. 2011 Dec;17(23-24):2931-42. Man A, Davis HE, Itoh A, Leach JK, Bannerman P. 2011

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ZPK/DLK, a mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase, is a critical mediator of programmed cell death of motoneurons. J. Neurosci. 2011; 31(20):7223-8. Itoh A, Horiuchi M, Wakayama K, Xu J, Bannerman P, Pleasure D, Itoh T. 2011

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Cooperative contributions of interferon regulatory factor 1 (IRF1) and IRF8 to interferon-γ-mediated cytotoxic effects on oligodendroglial progenitor cells. J Neuroinflammation. 2011 Jan 24;8:8. Horiuchi M, Itoh A, Pleasure D, Ozato K, Itoh T. 2011

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Amyloid beta 1-42 oligomer inhibits myelin sheet formation in vitro. Neurobiology of Aging 2010. Horiuchi M, Maezawa I, Itoh A, Wakayama K, Jin L-Y, Itoh T, DeCarli C. 2010

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Oligodendroglial differentiation induces mitochondrial genes and inhibition of mitochondrial function represses oligodendroglial differentiation. Mitochondrion, 2010; 10: 143 - 50. Schoenfeld R, Wong A, Silva J, Li M, Itoh A, Horiuchi M, Itoh T, Pleasure D, Cortopassi G. 2010

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Impaired regenerative response of primary sensory neurons in ZPK/DLK gene-trap mice. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009; 29: 258 - 62. Itoh A, Horiuchi M, Bannerman P, Pleasure D, Itoh T. 2009

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Interferon-triggered transcriptional cascades in the oligodendroglial lineage: a comparison of induction of MHC class II antigen between oligodendroglial progenitor cells and mature oligodendrocytes. J Neuroimmunol. 2009; 25: 53 - 64. Itoh T, Horiuchi M, Itoh A. 2009

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Maintenance of the relative proportion of oligodendrocytes to axons even in the absence of BAX and BAK. Eur J Neurosci. 2009; 30: 2030 - 41. Kawai K, Itoh T, Itoh A, Horiuchi M, Wakayama K, Bannerman P, Garbern JY, Pleasure D, Lindsten T. 2009

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Characterization of acid-sensing ion channel expression in oligodendrocyte-lineage cells. Glia. 2008; 15: 1238 - 49. Feldman DH, Horiuchi M, Keachie K, Mccauley E, Bannerman P, Itoh A, Itoh T, Pleasure D. 2008

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GluR2-free alpha-amino- 3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionate receptors intensify demyelination in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. J Neurochem. 2007; 102: 1064 - 70. Bannerman P, Horiuchi M, Feldman D, Hahn A, Itoh A, See J, Jia ZP, Itoh T, Pleasure D. 2007

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MEK-ERK signaling is involved in interferon-gamma-induced death of oligodendroglial progenitor cells. J Biol Chem. 2006; 21: 20095 - 106. Horiuchi M, Itoh A, Pleasure D, Itoh T. 2006

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SP3 acts as a positive regulator on the core promoter of human ZPK gene. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004; 16: 612 - 8. Itoh A, Wang Z, Ito Y, Reddy UR, Itoh T. 2004

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2425 Stockton Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95817
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