Internal Medicine

Rheumatology, Endocrinology and Nephrology

  • Professor: Tatsuya Atsumi
  • Associate Professor: Shinsuke Yasuda
  • Assistant Professor: Olga Amengual
  • Assistant Professor: Toshiyuki Bohgaki*
  • Phone: +81-11-706-5915
  • FAX: +81-11-706-7710
  • *concurrent
The activities in our department, founded in 1923, are divided into teaching, research and clinical work in three specialized fields, rheumatology, endocrinology and nephrology. Experts in those fields work together and deal with different features of the diseases. The aim of our division is to establish clinicians and scientists with wide-knowledge and skills on clinical and research aspects of rheumatology, endocrinology and nephrology. We educate doctors to practice medicine based on the demonstration of the evidence by using a scientific approach. We also encourage students to work with a global perspective, to remove borders between countries and display their work to the whole world. We invite all of you who are interested in our research and educational policy to join this division.


Members in our division perform clinical and basic researches. Our basic research is focused in 3 interests:
Rheumatology: We are aiming to elucidate the etiology and pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. Currently, we concentrate on 1) the pathogenesis of antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), 2) the abnormal T cell signaling in systemic lupus (SLE), and (3) the genetics of SLE and APS.
Endocrinology: We are working to clarify the molecular mechanisms of obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, steroidogenesis and atherosclerosis by focusing on 1) Perilipin (PLIN1) which is located on lipid droplets in adipocytes and macrophages, and regulates lipid storage and lipolysis, 2) the Maf family which is thought to regulate insulin transcription and B-cell differentiation, and 3) Melanocortin 2 receptor (ACTH receptor) which is necessary for adrenal development and possibly affect bone metabolism.
Nephrology: We currently focus on 1) the molecular genetics and pathophysiology of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) using ADPKD model mice, 2) the pathophysiology of diabetic nephropathy using diabetes mellitus model mice, and 3) the pathophysiology of MPO-ANCA-associated vasculitis.


Faculty members in our division contribute to the education and training of medical students, graduate students, residents and post-doctoral fellows. Our staffs give classes of rheumatology, endocrinology and nephrology for medical students providing comprehensive presentations about the concept, pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of the diseases. The most of the lectures are given in Japanese, but we have also clinical seminars in English for undergraduate students and clinical and research seminars in English for graduate students.
Medical students in fifth and six years are actively involved in bed-side learning and other clinical practices as clinical clerkship. During the period of bed-side learning, medical students have opportunities to experience the daily clinical care with senior registrars, as well as, with the faculty members. Students will learn how to make a medical interview, a physical examination and how to design the plans for diagnosis and treatment.
1 Antigenic regions for β2-glycoprotein I dependent anti-cardiolipin monoclonal antibodies
2 Perilipin (green) locates on lipid droplets (red).
3 Kidney of an ADPKD mouse model
4 Lab members
Fig1 Fig2 Fig3 Fig4

International Activities

Our staffs are involved in several international activities. Prof Atsumi is leading an International multi-centre study to evaluate the clinical significance of antiphospholipid antibodies for the diagnosis of antiphospholipid syndrome. Many of our members are involved in some global collaboration. The staffs and students regularly join the well-known international congresses such as the American College of Rheumatology, the European League Against Rheumatism, the American Diabetes Association, the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, the American Society of Nephrology and the European Renal Association-European Dialysis and Transplant Association.

Selected Publications

1. Suzuki E, Amengual O, Atsumi T, Oku K, Hashimoto T, Kataoka H, Horita T, Yasuda S, Ieko M, Fukushima K, Koike T. (2010) Increased expression of phospholipid scramblase 1 in monocytes from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. J Rheumatol 37, 1639-45
2. Fujieda Y, Kataoka H, Odani T, Otomo K, Kato M, Fukaya S, Oku K, Horita T, Yasuda S, Atsumi T, Koike T. (2011) Clinical features of reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. Mod Rheumatol 3, 276-81
3. Nagai S, Okazaki M, Segawa H, Bergwitz C, Dean T, Potts JT, Mahon MJ, Gardella TJ, Jüppner H. (2011) Acute down-regulation of sodium-dependent phosphate transporter NPT2a involves predominantly the cAMP/PKA pathway as revealed by signaling-selective parathyroid hormone analogs. J Biol Chem 286: 1618-1626
4. Miyoshi H, Souza SC, Endo M, Sawada T, Shimizu C, Nagai S, Yoshioka N, Koike T, Greenberg. AS.(2010) Perilipin overexpression in mice protects against diet-induced obesity. J Lipid Res 51(5):975-82
5. Nishio S, Tian X, Gallagher AR, Yu Z, Patel V, Igarashi P, Somlo S. (2010) Loss of oriented cell division does not initiate cyst formation. J Am Soc Nephrol 21(2): 295-302
6. Shibazaki S, Yu Z, Nishio S,Tian X, Brent T, Mitobe M, Louvi A, Velazquez H, Ishibe S, Cantley LG, Igarashi P, Somlo S (2008) Cyst formation and activation of the extracellular regulated kinase pathway after kidney specific inactivation of Pkd1. Hum Mol Genet 17(11): 1505-16