Akio Kawakami, a well published lipid researcher at Tokyo Medical and Dental University, has retracted 3 papers from AHA journals, including one article in AHA’s flagship journal Circulation. News of the retractions was first reported on Retraction Watch.
Two of Kawakami’s co-authors are well known researchers affiliated with Harvard University and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Peter Libby and Frank Sacks. Prior to his position in Tokyo, Kawakami had been at the Harvard School of Public Health in the Department of Nutrition, where Sacks also works. Sacks is a co-author on all three of the retracted papers, while Peter Libby is a co-author on one of the retracted papers. Kawakami was also the first author of 4 other papers on which Libby and Sacks were co-authors, including two papers published in 2006 in Circulation (here and here).
Donna Arnett, the incoming president of the AHA, told CardioBrief that the retractions were requested by Kawakami himself. She said he initially contacted each of the individual journals, which then informed the AHA’s scientific publishing committee. (Arnett is a former chair of the committee.) “In this case it was the author himself coming forward, so it was fairly straightforward,” said Arnett. The retraction was then coordinated with the three journals.
Here are the 3 retractions:
Notice of Retraction
The authors of the following article have requested that it be retracted from publication inCirculation:
Kawakami A, Osaka M, Tani M, Azuma H, Sacks FM, Shimokado K, Yoshida M. Apolipoprotein CIII links hyperlipidemia with vascular endothelial cell dysfunction.Circulation. 2008;118:731–742.
The corresponding author, Dr Akio Kawakami, reported to the editors that the authors of this manuscript have raised concerns related to the accuracy of the data presented in this article. In the process of following up the findings reported in this study, they were unable to reproduce some experiments due to Dr Akio Kawakami’s negligence in keeping proper original records. This information was reported to the editors by Dr Kawakami directly. The authors apologize to the readers of Circulation for any inconvenience caused by this retraction.
From Circulation Research:
Notice of Retraction
The authors of the following article have requested that it be retracted from publication in Circulation Research:
Kawakami A, Osaka M, Aikawa M, Uematsu S, Akira S, Libby P, Shimokado K, Sacks FM, Yoshida M. Toll-like receptor 2 mediates apolipoprotein CIII–induced monocyte activation. Circ Res. 2008;103:1402–1409.
The corresponding author, Dr Akio Kawakami, admitted to the editors to improperly handling the collection and presentation of data in this article such that the authors can no longer verify the authenticity and accuracy of the data presented. These errors include, but may not be limited to, the blots in Figure 2A, Figure 4D, and Online Figure III originating from unrelated experiments of the corresponding author, and the incorrect reporting of “n” in Figures 5 and 6, which are less than indicated. As such, data in those figures are not verifiable.
All co-authors involved in this study other than the corresponding author, Dr Kawakami, had no knowledge of any scientific impropriety related to the collection, analysis, or presentation of data in this article. Dr Kawakami takes full responsibililty for this.
Notice of Retraction
The authors of the following article have requested that it be retracted from publication inArteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology:
Abe Y, Kawakami A, Osaka M, Uematsu S, Akira S, Shimokado K, Sacks FM, Yoshida M. Apolipoprotein CIII induces monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and interleukin 6 expression via toll-like receptor 2 pathway in mouse adipocytes. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2010;30:2242–2248.
The corresponding author, Dr Akio Kawakami, reported to the editors his concerns related to the authenticity and accuracy of the data presented in this article. Because the number of experiments was inflated in some studies, and the corresponding author presented some data from unrelated experiments, the results are not verifiable. All co-authors involved in this study other than the corresponding author had no knowledge of any scientific impropriety related to the collection, analysis, or presentation of data in this article. Dr Kawakami apologizes for any adverse consequences that may have resulted from the article’s publication and any inconvenience and wasted effort that this may have caused the scientific community and readers of the journal.