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Ongoing Research | Overview


Our laboratory studies the pathophysiology of sepsis and tumor recurrence/ metastasis, particularly in the perioperative setting.

Anesthetics, particularly volatile anesthetics are often provided to patients suffering from sepsis and who present for tumor resection surgery. Although the anesthetic mechanism of volatile anesthetics remains to be determined, these promiscuous molecules are suggested to affect the function of immune cells. We previously reported that they interacted with adhesion molecule family integrins (Figure 1). We currently study their in vivo effects on sepsis and tumor recurrence/ metastasis. Our ultimate goal is to understand the impact of anesthetics and propose anesthetic regimens based on patients’ underlying diseases. 

YUKI Figure 1AYUKI Figure 1B

Figure 1. The interaction of volatile anesthetic isoflurane with integrin LFA-1


Sepsis remains to be a disease with high morbidities and mortalities. Although neutrophils are the first line innate immune cells to eradicate infection as host defense mechanism, activated neutrophils can cause secondary injury to various organs. We are interested in understanding the role of integrins in neutrophil-induced organ injury and the impact of anesthetics (Figure 2).

Various ion channels and integrins are potential volatile anesthetic targets

YUKI Figure 2

Figure 2. The potential target sites of anesthetics on neutrophils

Tumor recurrence/ metastasis

A number of retrospective studies suggest that the type of anesthetics/ anesthetic regimen for surgical tumor resection might have impacts on tumor recurrence/ metastasis or outcomes. We study the underlying mechanism of tumor recurrence/ metastasis following surgery and the role of anesthetics. Particularly we are focusing on the role of natural killer cells in this process (Figure 3).

Ion channels and integrins are potential volatile anesthetic targets

YUKI Figure 3

Figure 3. The potential target sites of anesthetics on natural killer cells