Prof. Norimitsu Morioka

【Research Keyword】
Chronic pain, depression, neuropathic pain, neuropsychiatric disorders, microglia, astrocytes, central nervous system

【Recent highlights】
1.We found that spinal astrocytic REV-ERBs is a potential target for analgesics.
2.We found that HMGB1 is crucial in development of trigeminal neuropathy.
3.We found that chronic pain stress induces depressive and anxiety disorder through the HMGB1-mediated microglial activation.

Profiles of Faculty and Research Scholars

 The purpose of studying pharmacology is to understand the action of drugs in the body, and the mechanism of drugs to diseases. We primarily offer lectures and practices to understand not only drug’s actions but also their connection to diseases. In these educational programs, we provide professional knowledge and skill which are essential to be pharmacists or scientists for drug development.

Central nervous system mainly consists of neurons and glial cells such as microglia and astrocytes. Dysfunction of not only neurons but also glial cells might be involved in induction of various diseases. Our research topics are to understand roles of glial cells in some neurological disorders, including chronic pain, depression and dementia. In addition, we try to establish a novel therapeutic strategy for creating potential drugs through regulation of glial functions.

【Figure explanation】 Nociceptive transduction in spinal dorsal horn
Under chronic pain state, glial cells such as microglia and astrocytes are highly activated, and these responses are involved in induction and maintenance of nociceptive hypersensitivity.