News Releases & Research Results Discovery of a new mode of signal transmission in the brain - Clues for the development and treatment of diseases -

News Releases & Research Results


Results of a collaborative study conducted by Associate Professor Kenji Tanaka and Researcher (at the time of the study) Keitaro Yoshida of the Department of Neuropsychiatry, Keio University School of Medicine; Professor Akihiro Yamanaka of Nagoya University; Associate Professor Kenta Kobayashi of the National Institute for Physiological Sciences; and Professor Masahiko Watanabe of the University of Hokkaido.

The key results of research are as follows:

  • A new mode of signal transmission was identified in the brain of mice; when a goal-directed behavior was initiated, the excitatory nervous activity was inhibited at the upstream of the neural circuits, whereas the neurons were excited at the downstream after receiving the input.
  • Furthermore, the study results demonstrated that the neurons that produced a molecular marker called parvalbumin (parvalbumin-positive cells), which are strongly associated with psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, were responsible for the new mode of opposing activities.
  • With regard to psychiatric disorders, further works are expected to explain how the signal transmission in the brain, which was found in this research, is altered and plays a role in the pathogenesis and treatment.

This project was conducted with the support of Brain Mapping by Integrated Neurotechnologies for Disease Studies by AMED.

The results of this study were published online in Cell Reports on July 1.



Last updated 07/01/20