Integrative Life Sciences :
Brain and Nervous System


Assistant Professor OHARA Shinya
Campus Katahira campus
Laboratory Systems Neuroscience
Tel +81-22-217-5052
E-mail shinya.ohara.d3@tohoku.ac.jp

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.

2004 B.S., Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Tohoku University
2006 M.S., Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University
2009 Ph.D., Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University
2009-2009 Specially Appointed Research Associate, Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University (GCOE)
2009-2017 Research Associate, Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University
2017-2018 Researcher, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
2018-present Research associate, Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University
Selected Publications
  • Ohara S., Gianatti M.,  Itou K, Berndtsson C.H., Doan T.P., Kitanishi T., Mizuseki K., Iijima T., Tsutsui KI., Witter MP.,(2019).Entorhinal Layer II Calbindin-Expressing Neurons Originate Widespread Telencephalic and Intrinsic Projections. Frontiers in systems neuroscience, 13(54).
  • Ohara S.*, Onodera M.*, Simonsen ØW., Yoshino R., Hioki H., Iijima T., Tsutsui KI., Witter MP.,(2018). Intrinsic Projections of Layer Vb Neurons to Layers Va, III, and II in the Lateral and Medial Entorhinal Cortex of the Rat. Cell Rep,  24(1) 107-116.
  • Ohara S.*, Sota Y.*, Sato S., Tsutsui KI., Iijima T., (2017). Increased transgene expression level of rabies virus vector for transsynaptic tracing. PLoS One, 12(7).
  • Witter, MP., Doan, TP., Jacobsen, B., Nilssen, ES., Ohara, S., (2017). Architecture of the Entorhinal Cortex A Review of Entorhinal Anatomy in Rodents with Some Comparative Notes. Front Syst Neurosci, 11(46)
  • Ohara S., Sato S., Oyama K., Tsutsui KI., Iijima T., (2013). Rabies virus vector transgene expression level and cytotoxicity improvement induced by deletion of glycoprotein gene. PLoS One, 8(11).
  • Ohara S., Sato S., Tsutsui KI., Witter M., Iijima T., (2013). Organization of multisynaptic inputs to the dorsal and ventral dentate gyrus: Retrograde trans-synaptic tracing with rabies virus vector in the rat. PLoS One, 8(11).
  • Oyama K.*, Ohara S.*, Sato S., Karube F., Fujiyama F., Isomura Y., Mushiake H., Iijima T., Tsutsui K., (2013). Long-lasting single-neuron labeling by in vivo electroporation without microscopic guidance. J Neurosci Methods, 218(2):139-47.
  • Ohara S., Inoue K., Witter M., Iijima T., (2009). Untangling neural networks with dual retrograde transsynaptic viral infection. Front Neurosci, 3 (3), 344-349.
  • Ohara S., Inoue K., Yamada M., Yamawaki T., Koganezawa N., Tsutsui KI., Witter M., Iijima T. (2009). Dual transneuronal tracing in the rat entorhinal- hippocampal circuit by intracerebral injection of recombinant rabies virus vectors. Front Neuroanat, 3:1.
  1. Ohara S., Iijima T., (2012). Optical monitoring of neural activity using molecular probe. Jikken igaku special edition, 30 (2), 175-180.
Activities in Academic Societies

Japan Neuroscience Society
Society for Neuroscience


Introductory Science Experiments (General Education), Laboratory of Developmental Biology (undergraduate), etc.

Recent Activities

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. ohara image1