Brain Mapping by Integrated Neurotechnologies for Disease Studies

Studying the neural networks controlling higher brain functions in the marmoset, to gain new insights into information processing and diseases of the human brain.

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Prenatal valproic acid-induced autism marmoset model exhibits higher salivary cortisol levels

This study revealed that both VPA-exposed ASD model marmosets and control marmosets showed similar diurnal changes in cortisol levels, which were lower in the afternoon than in the morning. However, heightened cortisol levels were observed in VPA-exposed marmosets at the times examined in this study. These results are consistent with those of ASD in humans.


Modular strategy for development of the hierarchical visual network in mice

A research team of the University of Tokyo has successfully elucidated a new mechanism of the brain by which a complex neural network, including interareal connections in the cerebral cortex, is efficiently formed during development. This is the first study investigating comprehensively how interareal connections among cortical and thalamic regions are formed during development. This study is expected to be applied in the future to treatments for diseases such as congenital blindness and to circuit formation algorithms to improve an artificial intelligence.


Exome sequencing analysis of Japanese autism spectrum disorder case-control sample supports an increased burden of synaptic function–related genes

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a highly heritable, complex disorder in which rare variants contribute significantly to disease risk. This case-control exome study showed that rare variants related to synaptic function are associated with ASD susceptibility in the Japanese population. In particular, we strengthen the evidence regarding the role of ABCA13, a synaptic function-related gene. The results of this research have been published in Translational Psychiatry.


Reduced childhood social attention in autism model marmosets predicts impaired social skills and inflexible behavior in adulthood

This study found that the autism model marmoset showed a strong correlation between the time spent looking at adult marmosets during childhood and autism-like symptoms later in life. These results suggest that social attention to others at an early age may be a target for early treatment of autism and that autism model marmosets may be useful tool for early therapy development.


An isogenic panel of App knock-in mouse models: Profiling β-secretase inhibition and endosomal abnormalities

An Alzheimer’s disease (AD) mouse model that is useful for development of drugs such as BACE1 inhibitors is generated by genome editing technology. This AD mouse model recapitulated endosomal abnormality in neurons, one of characteristic changes in AD, indicating this model is also suitable to study cellular pathophysiology.


Phosphoproteomic of the acetylcholine pathway enables discovery of the PKC-β-PIX-Rac1-PAK cascade as a stimulatory signal for aversive learning

Acetylcholine is critical for learning, whose deficits is associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This study unravels the acetylcholine intracellular signaling for aversive learning, a major preliminary test for AD drugs. Moreover, AD drug donepezil enhances aversive learning through this signal. The findings imply the signal’s therapeutic potential for AD.


Cerebro-cerebellar interactions in nonhuman primates examined by optogenetic functional magnetic resonance imaging

Opto-fMRI, which combines functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and optogenetics, has been widely used in rodents, but only a few successful cases have been reported in non-human primates. By conducting opto-fMRI with efficient optogenetics and ultra-high field 7 tesla MRI, this study succeeded in visualizing the brain network induced by optical stimulation of the monkey motor cortex.


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Related Projects

  • International Brain Initiative
  • Marmoset Gene Atlas
  • Brain/MINDS Data Portal

Supported by

Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development