〒162-8666 8-1, Kawada-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
How is our brain circuit assembled during the course of development and how does the mature network respond to the changes in environmental cues? In order to tackle these questions, we employ multiple levels of techniques including molecular biology, mouse genetics, histology, in vitro slice as well as in vivo electrophysiology, and animal behavior. We actively involve researchers with laboratories for clinical medicine and also welcome PhD students from the clinical department.
(1) Rewiring mechanism of neuronal circuits in the central nervous system
Neuronal circuits are dramatically refined under the influence of external environments cues and experiences during development. Even though neural circuits have reached full maturity, the rewiring of circuits can occur again after deafferentation such as limb amputation. Synapses in the sensory thalamus are known to undergo synaptic rewiring during postnatal development and deafferentation. We examine the network function of the somatosensory system upon synaptic remodeling by using a combination of tools in vitro whole cell recordings in the slice and in vivo multi-channel recordings, including electrophysiological and imaging techniques, as well as genetically manipulated mice.
(2) Mechanisms underlying postnatal development and maintenance of sensory synapses
The elimination of early-formed extra-synapses is a fundamental process for the development of neural circuits. We explore mechanisms of the synaptic pruning and subsequent maintenance phase using electrophysiological techniques in combination with pharmacological and/or molecular biological methods.
(3) Towards elucidating the endophenotypes of autism spectrum disorders (ASD)
By utilizing developmental genetics strategies, we were able to establish mouse models with social and working-memory deficits. In addition to these behavioral phenotypes, we examine the cortical networks and synaptic properties.
Professor and Chairperson Mariko MIYATA
Lecturer Goichi MIYOSHI
Lecturer Mitsuharu MIDORIKAWA
Assistant Professor Yoshifumi UETA
Assistant Professor Moeko KANAYA
Assistant Professor Hironobu OSAKI
Assistant Professor Hisako NAKAYAMA
8-1, Kawada-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo