Elucidation of the synaptic transmission mechanism in the central nervous system.

  • Mechanisms of neurotransmitter release.
  • Analysis of neurotransmitter receptor functions.
  • Functional analysis of modulators of synaptic transmission.
  • Intracellular signaling caused by receptor activation.

Through the elucidation of the mechanism of synaptic information processing at the cellular and molecular levels, we aim to understand the fundamental principle of the synaptic transmission mechanism.

Elucidation of the molecular mechanism of synaptic plasticity.

  • Analysis of the molecular mechanisms of long-term synaptic plasticity such as long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD).
  • Elucidation of the mechanisms of short-term modulation of synaptic transmission.

We aim to elucidate the intracellular mechanism of these phenomena, and the accompanying mechanism of dynamic modulation of the synaptic micro-structure such as spines.

Comprehensive understanding of the higher brain function, such as learning/memory and emotion and elucidation of the mechanisms of etiology of psychiatrical and neurological disorders.

  • Studies at the molecular, cellular and tissue levels on the model system of learning and memory, using cultured hippocampal neurons and hippocampal slice preparations.
  • Study on the mechanism of synaptic transmission in the model system of emotion, using slice preparations of the amygdala.
  • Study on the gene-manipulated mice such as knockout mice at the level of the whole animal.
  • Fundamental study on etiology of psychiatrical and neurological disorders using model animals.

Making full use of various approaches at the multiple levels from the molecule to the whole body, we aim to elucidate the mechanism of higher brain functions such as learning/memory and emotion and of etiology of psychiatrical and neurological disorders caused by abnormalities of neural functions.