The First Department of Physiology
Professor: Yoichi UETA, MD, Ph.D.
Research Associate: Hiroaki FUJIHARA, Ph.D. & Toru YOKOYAMA,
Focus of research:
- The role of the hypothalamus in the integrative site of the
neuroendocrine and immune system
- The electrophysiological study of the mechanisms regulating
hypothalamic neuroendocrine cells
- The regulation of gene expression and gene products in the
neurondocrine and immune system
- The study of the drinking mechanism in the inbred polydipsic
- The behavioral, neuroendocrine and autonomic nervous function
in the immunologically abnormal animals
- It is well known that the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus
is the integrative site in the neuroendocrine and immune function.
The magnocellular neurosecretory cells in the paraventricular
nucleus (PVN) and supraoptic nucleus (SON) regulate the secretion
of the posterior pituitary hormones, vasopressin and oxytocin.
The parvocellular neurosecretory cells send their axons to the
median eminence and regulate ACTH release. These neurosecretory
cells receive neural information from the peripheral organs via
brainstem and humoral information. We have examined the neural
network between the neurosecretory cells and peripheral organs
(heart, stomach, kidney etc.).
- The mechanisms regulating hypothalamic neuroendocrine cells
in the PVN and SON have been studied by electrophysiological
techniques such as patch-clamp or intracellular-microelectrode
techniques, and the fluorescence imaging technique for cytosolic
Ca2+ concentrations .
- The gene expression and gene products, for example vasopressin,
oxytocin, cytokines (Interleukin 6) and nitric oxide synthase
in the hypothalamus, pituitary glands and endocrine organs have
been examined by in situ hybridization histochemistry
and immunohistochemistry .
- The inbred polydipsic mice (STR/N) were discovered by Silverstein
et al. (State University of New York) in the late 1950's.
Daily water intake of the polydipsic mice is 5 to 8 times more
than that in control, but food intake is similar. When water
is given ad lib the polydipsic mice produce a large volume
of urine with low ionic concentrations. Although the polydipsic
mice seem to possess an innate thirst for water, the central
mechanisms of the polydipsic in the STR/N mice has not been clear.
We have examined why they drink so much, using behavioral, molecular
biological, histological, electrophysiological and molecular
- To examine the etiology of autoimmune disease we have examined
the behavioral, immunological and neuroendocrinological status
in the experimental adjutant arthritis rats.
- Studies on roles of the hypothalamus in neuro-immune-endocrine
- Electrophysiological analysis of ionic channels and neurotransmitter
release in isolated neurons and brain slice preparations
- Analysis of cytosolic Ca2+ concentrations by Ca2+-
imaging in isolated neurones and brain slice preparations
- Molecular biological analysis of the regulatory mechanisms
of vasopressin and oxytocin neurons
Latest publications of our research
Profile of staff
- Mechanisms of excitation of neurons and muscle cells
- Structure and functions of ion channels
- Mechanisms of synaptic transmission
- Mechanisms of signal perception and transduction in the sensory
- Function of neural network in the integration of bio-signals
- Mechanisms of the control of the motor systems and the reflex
- Functions of the autonomic nerve and its relation to humoral
- Mechanisms of emotions and drives
- Mechanisms of cognition, learning and other higher functions
of the brain