To elucidate the function and organization of the complicated central nervous system, we have been developing novel methods using viral vectors. By using this method, we now aim to delineate the complex wiring of the hippocampal formation and understand the mechanism of memory formation.
|Activities in Academic Societies||
Japan Neuroscience Society
Introductory Science Experiments (General Education), Laboratory of Developmental Biology (undergraduate), etc.
The hippocampus, which is involved in certain kinds of memory, is known to be functionally differentiated along its longitudinal axis. The dorsal hippocampus is involved in spatial learning. In contrast, the ventral hippocampus is more closely involved with the processing of emotional information. We recently examined the disynaptic input to the dorsal and ventral dentate gyrus (DG) by using recombinant viral vectors. This vector can infect neuron transsynaptically in a retrograde direction and label infected neurons by the expression of fluorescent proteins. We identified brain areas that provide disynaptic inputs to the DG, such as the piriform cortex, medial raphe nucleus, and medial habenular nucleus. Furthermore, we found that the disynaptic inputs to the dorsal and ventral DG show a clear topographical organization. This indicates that the cortical and subcortical inputs to the dorsal and ventral DG are conveyed through parallel disynaptic pathways. These differences in the disynaptic inputs to the dorsal and ventral DG might contribute to the functional differences of the dorsal and the ventral hippocampus.