About "Abnormal expression of epidermal growth factor in the uterus"


 Profile #37: Dr. KATAGIRI Seiji, Professor

 Laboratory of Theriogenology,

 Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine


 【Research Topics】

 ・Infertility in dairy cattle, repeat breeding





  ~Twenty years on a stone~ 


 Since my student days, I have been interested in the differences between animals that become pregnant and those that do not, and since becoming a teacher in my late 30s, I have been investigating the causes of infertility in dairy cows, with a particular focus on the uterus. We spent 10 years discovering that many cows have difficulty conceiving due to a breakdown in communication between the uterus and preimplantation embryos via epidermal growth factor*1, and then spent another 10 years to develop a technology to resolve this problem and make cows fertile, and this year we applied for a patent. It is said that “three years on a stone (even a stone will get warm if a person sits on it for three years)”, 20 years have gone by in the blink of an eye. It is currently in the commercialization stage by pharmaceutical companies, but it will take another 8 to 15 years for it to be released as a drug. The origins of this research date back to 1993, when I was a graduate student at the medical school and a research topic was given to me by my mentor. Although this research achieved results using a rat model, there are many limitations in collecting human clinical research materials and planning and implementing experimental treatments, making it difficult to obtain useful data. I ended up not being able to do that. However, in the process, I learned the habit of devising a more effective study plan within permissible limits.'' We believe that this was utilized in the process of creating study plans and requesting cooperation to farmers, veterinarians, and other stakeholders, which led to the current results.


*Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is considered to be a message to cells that they are allowed to grow, and its expression in the uterus is regulated by ovarian hormones. Since the preimplantation embryo does not produce EGF but only has receptors for it, it is thought to act as a message from the uterus to the embryo and to be involved in the regulation of embryonic survival and development.







 A training session at our university farm with external researchers.

 Research requires collaboration with many graduate and undergraduate students, including

 international students, and external researchers and field veterinarians.










 Dairy cows on a commercial farm in Thailand. Dairy cows are not good at heat, and heat stress is one of the causes

 of the abnormal expression of epidermal growth factor in the uterus, which we are targeting.

 We are also conducting joint research with field veterinarians and researchers in researchers in Vietnam and