Prof. Hidenori Aizawa

【Research Keyword】
Depression, Dopamine, Serotonin, Habenula, Model animals

【Recent highlights】
Despite its relevance, pathophysiology underlying major depression remains unclear. Our recent study using genetically-modified mice revealed that dysfunction of the glial cells in the habenula caused depressive-like behaviors and sleep disturbance.

Profiles of Faculty and Research Scholars

Undergraduate course covers cell biology, histology and neuroanatomy. We train the students in the graduate course to be able to lead the project with interdisciplinary approach.

Our goal is to understand the neural mechanism underlying the animal behaviors and neuropsychiatric disorders from the molecular viewpoint. We address this by a combination of disciplines in the different fields such as anatomy, physiology, neurochemistry and computational science. Our study put emphasis on molecular mechanism shared throughout brain evolution from fish to human to show a role of specific neural pathway in regulation of distinct behaviors.

【Figure explanation】Mouse study revealed that glial dysfunction in the habenula led to the pathological excitation of the neurons and depressive-like phenotypes such as behavioral abnormalities and sleep disturbance.