How learning occurs and memory stored in our brain? In the cerebrum, excitatory synapses are made on tiny spiny protrusions of dendrite, called dendritic spines. We have extensively utilized microscopic investigation of cellular and molecular events, which allow labeling of potentiated synapses and optical manipulation of synapses and circuits. We have revealed that the dendritic spines show rapid enlargement in the hippocampus, neocortex, and basal ganglia when they get stronger. Then, we demonstrated that the enlargement underlies memory in vivo. Such dynamic spine motilities are the sites of endogenous neuromodulation, emotional responses, additive drugs, and therapeutic agents for mental disorders. Thus, neuronal circuits made by spines in the brain enable learning, memory, perception, emotion, and their impairments result in various mental disorders. We further clarify the nature of the spine motility, and making new optical, mechanical, molecular probes for a better understanding of learning and cognition and its impairments.
August 1, 2020
Ms. Akiko Abe and Chie Hujiname have joined our laboratory!
June 2, 2020
Dr. Kenta Nishitani has joined our laboratory!
Mar 26, 2020
Sep 26, 2019
June 13, 2019
April 12, 2019
Nov 1, 2018
Kazuhiko Ishii reported the abnormal dynamics of dendritic spines in a mouse model of autism.