1. Studies to understand the mechanisms and control methods in intermediate phenotypes of psychiatric disorders (the immature brain)
Fig. 1. In the dentate gyrus of Shn2 KO mouse, a mouse model for schizophrenia, the mature granule cell marker, calbindin, is remarkably decreased. Green, calbindin (mature granule cell marker); red, cell nucleus.
In this research, we aim to 1) clarify the molecular mechanisms and functional significance of maturity changes in various brain cells, including neurons in the hippocampal dentate gyrus, and 2) establish the methods by which brain cell maturity is controlled, using advanced and comprehensive analysis technologies. We believe that this research may significantly contribute to the establishment of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment strategies for psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and depression, as well as for the elucidation of mechanisms underlying the aging brain.
2. Development of brain function phenotype database by using model mice
We have created a database (http://www.mouse-phenotype.org/)of the experimental control and analysissoftware for behavioral experiments and the behavioral experimental data obtained from previous studies. In addition, the mouse brains and plasma used in our behavioral experiments were collected after the study and cryopreserved in the laboratory, thereby allowing these mouse samples with existing behavioral data to be studied further by using various methods.
Currently, we offer assistances on the behavioral analyses of genetically modified mice (systematic brain function behavioral analysis) as part of the resources and technical support of the Scientific Research on Innovative Areas (Comprehensive Brain Science Network, the Japan Science and Technology Agency) in our department. Contact us if you are interested.