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Our main research project

Elucidation of the mechanisms of reorganization of the neural network and functional recovery after injury in the central nervous system.

Disorders of the central nervous system, such as cerebrovascular diseases, cerebrospinal trauma, and encephalomyelitis, often cause spatiotemporal changes in the nervous system and in various biological systems, such as the immune system and vascular system. We have analyzed disorders of the neural networks in the central nervous system and the subsequent restoration process from the perspective of the functional network of biological systems. Further, we have analyzed the mechanism by which the spatiotemporal dynamics in those biological systems control a series of processes. Particularly, the ultimate goal of this study is to elucidate the control mechanism exerted by the associations among the nervous system, immune system, and vascular system. Additionally, we aim to elucidate the principles involved in the operation of living organisms with neural network disorders within the central nervous system by observing such disorders and their functional recovery process with respect to the dynamics of the entire biological system and by conducting a comprehensive analysis of the association between each system.

We will use unilateral cerebral cortical contusions, as well as in spinal cord injury and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in mice. We will use these disease models to analyze spatiotemporal changes in gene expression and dynamics of immune and vascular cell groups. In addition, we will determine how the cells in the immune system and vascular system exert control on disorders in neural networks and their recovery and will proceed through an analysis of the mechanisms involved in the phenomena therein. By using the resulting findings and by understanding the mechanisms behind the recovery of neural networks through activation of each cell group, we will elucidate the principles behind living organisms’ reactions during the acute phase of a disorder and during the recovery phase.

We perceive the central nervous system as a single organ within a biological system; further, studies from the perspective of the involvement of the entire biological system in disorders and recovery of neural networks are scarce. By perceiving disorders in the neural networks and the biological reactions during the subsequent recovery process as a “scrap-and-build” strategy, we aim to elucidate the mechanisms behind a series of reactions as well as their significance that may potentially create a new and never-seen-before trend in Life Sciences.