Molecular and pharmacological neuroscience

Prof. Norio Sakai

【Research Keyword】
Protein kinase C, spinocerebellar atrophy, Parkinson disease, elongation of neural processes, survival of neurons, ischemic brain disease, microglia, serotonin transporter

【Recent highlights】
1.The orphan G-protein-coupled receptor GRP3, which is abundantly expressed in CNS, constitutively elevates the levels of cAMP. We now demonstrated that GPR was transferred from the cell body to tips of neurite, which could elevate the cAMP level and facilitate  the elongation of neural processes (PLoS One. 11 (2016) e0147466).
2.The Toll-like receptor 4-activated microglia subpopulation survives via granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor and exerts neuroprotective functions (Neurochem. Int. 93 (2016) 82-94).

Profiles of Faculty and Research Scholars

(Undergraduate school) We teach how drugs behave in the body and how drugs exert its effects on the organ.
1.general and particular pharmacology
2.pharmacological practice
3.Research practice

(Graduate school) On the basis of knowledge underlying neuroscience, neuroimmunology and molecular biology, we teach the research that contributes the development of novel pharmaceutical method for several neuropsychiatry diseases.
4.Molecular Biology

We seek to understand the pathology of several neuropsychiatric diseases, and based on the obtained findings, we further seek to novel pharmaceutical method to improve them as follow.
1.Understanding for the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative disease that is related to protein kinase C(PKC)
2.Functional regulation of serotonin transporter
3.G-protein coupled receptor GPR3, 6, 12, which are abundant in the CNS
4.Understanding for pathophysiology of ischemic brain disease and developing of novel pharmaceutical method
5.Function of microglia that contribute the neuroimmunology.

【Photo explanation】 Localization of GPR3 in cerebellar granule cells