Gifu, Japan

Molecular Pharmacology

Research Interests

“Elucidation of the mechanism underlying neuronal cell death and development for therapeutic drugs” is the theme of our research laboratory. Apoptosis is involved in neuronal cell death, and it has been suggested that caspases and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress participate as the underlying mechanisms. By using the molecular biological and pharmacological approaches, we are studying to clarify the molecular mechanisms and determinants for “point of no return” in neuronal cell death, and conducting basic research for elucidating the pathological mechanisms and the development for therapeutic drugs in central nervous diseases (stroke, schizophrenia, and manic disorder) and ocular diseases (glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy). We also have a variety of established animal models, and are analyzing biofunctional molecules related to pathological process and their mechanism using clinical samples and genetically modified animals. Furthermore, we are conducting researches on dietary supplements and traditional medicines.

Research Objectives
  1. Studies for clarifying pathological mechanisms and drug discovery on CNS diseases such as stroke and psychiatric disorders
  2. Studies for elucidating pathological mechanisms and drug discovery on ocular diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and so on
  3. Studies for elucidating pathological mechanisms and drug discovery using iPS cells and adipose-derived stem cells
  4. A study for neuroprotection of traditional medicine
Research Results
  1. Takagi T., Mishiro K., Tsujimoto M., Ito H., Imai T., Nagashima K., Tsuruma K., Shimazawa M., Yoshimura S., Kozawa O., Iwama T. and Hara H. Cilostazol ameliorates collagenase-induced cerebral hemorrhage by protecting the blood–brain barrier. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, in press.
  2. Ohuchi K., Funato M., Kato Z., Seki J., Kawase C., Tamai Y., Ono Y., Nagahara Y., Noda Y., Kameyama T., Ando S., Tsuruma K., Shimazawa M., Hara H. and Kaneko H. Established stem cell model of spinal muscular atrophy is applicable in the evaluation of the efficacy of thyrotropin-releasing hormone analog. STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, in press.
  3. Murata K., Yoshino Y., Tsuruma K., Moriguchi S., Oyagi A., Tanaka H., Ishisaka M., Shimazawa M., Fukunaga K., Hara H. The extracellular fragment of GPNMB improves memory and increases hippocampal GluA1 levels in mice. Journal of Neurochemistry, 132, 583-594, 2015.
  4. Takata S., Masuda T., Nakamura S., Kuchimaru T., Tsuruma K., Shimazawa M., Nagasawa H., Kondoh S. and Hara H. The effect of triamcinolone acetonide on laser-induced choroidal neovascularization in mice using a hypoxia visualization bio-imaging probe. Scientific Reports, 5: 9898, 2015.
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