Professional Education

  • Doctor of Medicine, Tohoku University (2005)
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Tohoku University (2012)

Stanford Advisors


All Publications

  • Macrophages in vascular inflammation - From atherosclerosis to vasculitis AUTOIMMUNITY Shirai, T., Hilhorst, M., Harrison, D. G., Goronzy, J. J., Weyand, C. M. 2015; 48 (3): 139-151


    The spectrum of vascular inflammatory disease ranges from atherosclerosis and hypertension, widespread conditions affecting large proportions of the population, to the vasculitides, rare syndromes leading to fast and irreversible organ failure. Atherosclerosis progresses over decades, inevitably proceeding through multiple phases of disease and causes its major complications when the vessel wall lesion ruptures, giving rise to lumen-occlusive atherothrombosis. Vasculitides of medium and large arteries progress rapidly, causing tissue ischemia through lumen-occlusive intimal hyperplasia. In both disease entities, macrophages play a decisive role in pathogenesis, but function in the context of other immune cells that direct their differentiation and their functional commitments. In atherosclerosis, macrophages are involved in the removal of lipids and tissue debris and make a critical contribution to tissue damage and wall remodeling. In several of the vasculitides, macrophages contribute to granuloma formation, a microstructural platform optimizing macrophage-T-cell interactions, antigen containment and inflammatory amplification. By virtue of their versatility and plasticity, macrophages are able to promote a series of pathogenic functions, ranging from the release of cytokines and enzymes, the production of reactive oxygen species, presentation of antigen and secretion of tissue remodeling factors. However, as short-lived cells that lack memory, macrophages are also amendable to reprogramming, making them promising targets for anti-inflammatory interventions.

    View details for DOI 10.3109/08916934.2015.1027815

    View details for Web of Science ID 000353523900002

    View details for PubMedID 25811915

  • T cell-macrophage interactions and granuloma formation in vasculitis. Frontiers in immunology Hilhorst, M., Shirai, T., Berry, G., Goronzy, J. J., Weyand, C. M. 2014; 5: 432-?


    Granuloma formation, bringing into close proximity highly activated macrophages and T cells, is a typical event in inflammatory blood vessel diseases, and is noted in the name of several of the vasculitides. It is not known whether specific properties of the microenvironment in the blood vessel wall or the immediate surroundings of blood vessels contribute to granuloma formation and, in some cases, generation of multinucleated giant cells. Granulomas provide a specialized niche to optimize macrophage-T cell interactions, strongly activating both cell types. This is mirrored by the intensity of the systemic inflammation encountered in patients with vasculitis, often presenting with malaise, weight loss, fever, and strongly upregulated acute phase responses. As a sophisticated and highly organized structure, granulomas can serve as an ideal site to induce differentiation and maturation of T cells. The granulomas possibly seed aberrant Th1 and Th17 cells into the circulation, which are known to be the main pathogenic cells in vasculitis. Through the induction of memory T cells, aberrant innate immune responses can imprint the host immune system for decades to come and promote chronicity of the disease process. Improved understanding of T cell-macrophage interactions will redefine pathogenic models in the vasculitides and provide new avenues for immunomodulatory therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.3389/fimmu.2014.00432

    View details for PubMedID 25309534

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