Research Institute of Environmental Medicine Nagoya University

Japanese English

Neuroscience II


Akihiro Yamanaka
Daisuke Ono
Designated Assistant Professor
Hiroshi Yamaguchi
Lab member photo 1
Lab member photo 2

Research Projects

It is known that the hypothalamus functions as the center of instinctive behavior (Appetite, Sleep/wakefulness, sexual behavior, etc.). Impaired regulation of these instinctive behaviors at the appropriate time can lead to hypersomnia, eating disorders, and abnormal libido. In addition, mood and judgment that are different from usual when you are hungry or sleep deprived. This fact indicates that the hypothalamus is involved in not only exhibit instinctive behaviors, but also have a great influence on higher brain functions such as motivation, memory, and decision making. Therefore, the elucidation of the mechanisms regulating instinctive behavior leads to the understanding of the principles of human behavior. Our main research target is peptide-containing neurons in the hypothalamus. We are conducting research to clarify, at the molecular, cellular, and whole animal levels, the neural networks that regulate instinctive behavior and their operating principles through multifaceted analysis combining molecular biology, histochemistry, electrophysiology, behavioral pharmacology, and optogenetics and chemogenetics.

Selected publications

  1. Hung CJ, Ono D, Kilduff TS, *Yamanaka A. Dual orexin and MCH neuron-ablated mice display severe sleep attacks and cataplexy. Elife 9, 2020.
  2. Izawa S, Chowdhury S, Miyazaki T, Mukai Y, Ono D, Inoue R, Ohmura Y, Mizoguchi H, Kimura K, Yoshioka M, Terao A, Kilduff TS, *Yamanaka A. REM sleep-active MCH neurons are involved in forgetting hippocampus-dependent memories. Science 365: 1308-1313, 2019.
  3. Chowdhury S, Hung CJ, Izawa S, Inutsuka A, Kawamura M, Kawashima T, Bito H, Imayoshi I, Abe M, Sakimura K, *Yamanaka A. Dissociating orexin-dependent and -independent functions of orexin neurons using novel Orexin-Flp knock-in mice. Elife 8, 2019.
  4. Chowdhury S, Matsubara T, Miyazaki T, Ono D, Fukatsu N, Abe M, Sakimura K, Sudo Y, *Yamanaka A. GABA neurons in the ventral tegmental area regulate non-rapid eye movement sleep in mice. Elife 8, 2019.
  5. Miyazaki T, Chowdhury S, Yamashita T, Matsubara T, Yawo H, Yuasa H, *Yamanaka A. Large Timescale Interrogation of Neuronal Function by Fiberless Optogenetics Using Lanthanide Micro-particles. Cell Rep 26: 1033-1043.e1035, 2019.
  6. *Ono D, Honma K-i, Yanagawa Y, Yamanaka A, Honma S. GABA in the suprachiasmatic nucleus refines circadian output rhythms in mice. Commun Biol 2: 232, 2019.
  7. Williams RH, Tsunematsu T, Thomas AM, Bogyo K, *Yamanaka A, *Kilduff TS. Transgenic Archaerhodopsin-3 Expression in Hypocretin/Orexin Neurons Engenders Cellular Dysfunction and Features of Type 2 Narcolepsy. J Neurosci 39: 9435-9452, 2019.
  8. Chowdhury S, *Yamanaka A. Optogenetic activation of serotonergic terminals facilitates GABAergic inhibitory input to orexin/hypocretin neurons. Sci Rep 6: 36039, 2016.
  9. Inutsuka A, Yamashita A, Chowdhury S, Nakai J, Ohkura M, Taguchi T, *Yamanaka A. The integrative role of orexin/hypocretin neurons in nociceptive perception and analgesic regulation. Sci Rep 6: 29480, 2016.
  10. Tsunematsu T, Ueno T, Tabuchi S, Inutsuka A, Tanaka KF, Hasuwa H, Kilduff TS, Terao A, *Yamanaka A. Optogenetic Manipulation of Activity and Temporally Controlled Cell-Specific Ablation Reveal a Role for MCH Neurons in Sleep/Wake Regulation. J Neurosci 34: 6896-6909, 2014.