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Study of regulatory mechanism of instinctive behavior by manipulating specific type of neurons using optpgenetics or pharmacogenetics

  • Research Institute of Environmental Medicine
  • Stress recognition and response
  • Neuroscience II
  • Neural regulation

Akihiro Yamanaka [Professor]

http://www.riem.nagoya-u.ac.jp/4/drof1/nr/english/index.html

Outline of Seeds

Instinctive behaviors are innate behaviors for survive and reproduction. In brain, the hypothalamus is thought to be a center for regulation of instinctive behaviors such as feeding and drinking behavior, sexual behavior and sleep/wakefulness. To exhibit proper instinctive behavior at proper timing and situation is extremely important. And regulatory failure of instinctive behaviors would be resulted in excessive sleep or insomnia, eating disorder and abnormal sexual behaviors. The hypothalamus is known to be involved in not only regulation of instinctive behaviors but also regulation of higher order brain function such as motivation, memory regulation and decision-making. Thus, to reveal regulatory mechanism of instinctive behaviors leads to understand human behaviors.
We are studying peptide containing neurons in the hypothalamus to reveal neural network involved in the regulation of instinctive behaviors at molecular, cellular and behavior level using combination of several experimental techniques such as genetic engineering, histochemical studies, electrophysiological studies, behavior pharmacological studies, imaging techniques and neural manipulation techniques such as optpgenetics and pharmacogenetics.

Key Takeaway

We handle molecular, cellular and whole animal to reveal regulatory mechanism of instinctive behaviors by combination of several experimental techniqes as a multiple aspect study.

Keywords

HypothalamusSleep/wakefulnessPeptidergic neuronsTrangegenic animalOptogenetics

Technologies

  • Slice patch clamp recording from specific neurons
  • Recording of neural activity using Ca imaging
  • Sleep recording using electroencepharogram and electromyogram
  • Activity manipulation of specific type of neurons using optogenetics and pharmacogenetics

Equipment

  • Slice patch clamp, Calcium imaging, sleep recording

Patents

  • Gene allele for expression amplification using tetracycline gene expression system

Monographs, Papers and Articles

  • Yamanaka A et al., Neuron (2003).
  • Tsunematsu et al., J Neurosci (2011)
  • Tsunematsu et al., J Neurosci (2014)
  • Chowedhury and Yamanaka (2016)