Kotaro Mizuta

Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto UniversityAssistant Professor*Profile is at the time of the award.

2018Inamori Research GrantsBiology & Life sciences

Research topics
Clarification of the functional breakdown mechanism of hippocampal neural circuits in Alzheimer’s disease using in vivo chronic imaging
In Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients, aging proteins accumulate to cause a breakdown in the neural circuit, resulting in dementia. One early symptom in AD patients is the dysfunction of spatial memory, in which the hippocampus plays an important role. However, details of how hippocampal neural-circuit breakdown are not known, in part due to the technical difficulty of long-term monitoring hippocampal activity. For this proposed research, we will take advantage of advanced technologies that we have established, including in vivo two-photon imaging, next-generation AD model mice that express fluorescent calcium sensor proteins, and a virtual reality (VR) system for mice. We will simultaneously observe activity of approximately 1,000 hippocampal neurons in a single-cell resolution over months to monitor how hippocampal neural circuits of AD model mice act under a VR environment created around the microscope. This proposed research is intended to visualize development of abnormal cells and the process from generation/accumulation of brain-aging proteins to breakdown of a functional circuit in hippocampus of AD model mice that work on VR recognition learning tasks, thus elucidating its pathological mechanism. We will also observe the effect of drug administration against abnormalities over time in the micro-nerve circuit thus identified.

Message from recipient

This prestigious grant has allowed me to pursue my research into Alzheimer’s disease. Going forward, I will work on the mechanism of how the nerve circuit breaks down in patients and then on the development of therapy. I will certainly work diligently each day to produce research findings that are of use for society.

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Biology & Life sciences