We have worked on brain functions from the point of view of glial functions. Glial cells are divided into astrocytes, microglia and oligodendrocytes, whose number is much higher than neurons. Glial cells were thought to be merely supportive cells, but they have been found to be rather active cells in terms of Ca2+ excitation etc. They express several receptors of neurotransmitters, and receive these transmitters, and release the chemical transmitters so called “gliotransmitters”. Thus, we believe that neuron-to-glia communication is a fundamental base of information processing. In addition to physiological roles in the, glial cells are thought to be involved in pathogenesis of several brain diseases, because they change their phenotypes dramatically in response to changes in brain environments. We think that dysfunction of glial cells should highly affect brain functions, leading to several brain diseases. Our goal is to clarify mechanisms underlying neuron-to-glia communication in physiological and pathophysiological brains, and understand brain functions comprehensively.
|Ｎame||Title・Positions||Main Research Focus|
|Schuichi KOIZUMI||Professor||Glia-neuron interaction|
|Youichi SHINOZAKI||Senior Assistant Professor||Glia-neuron communication in the retina|
|Eiji SHIGETOMI||Assistant Professor||Astrocyte-neuron communication in the hippocampus|
|Bijay PARAJULI||Project Assistant Professor||Microglia-neuron interaction|