Centers & Labs

RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies

Molecular Dynamics Imaging Unit

Unit Leader: Yi Long Cui (Ph.D.)
Yi Long  Cui(Ph.D.)

We aim to establish a PET imaging- based quantitative evaluation platform for pharmacokinetics in order to elucidate the molecular dynamics associated with the ADME (Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, and Excretion) processes in living body, and aim to develop novel disease-specific PET imaging methods to evaluate drug efficacy, during the drug developmental process. We will also focus on the development of an integrated research system combining functional neuroimaging method and classic research techniques, including electrophysiology, behavioral pharmacology, histology and genetic engineering approaches, and thereby carry out a comprehensive investigation of the molecular/cellular mechanisms underlying the psychiatric processes, especially regarding pain sensation and fatigue sensation.

Main Research Field

Biological Sciences

Related Research Fields

Complex systems / Biology / Medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy

Research Subjects

  • Establishment of PET imaging-based evaluation platform for pharmacokinetics
  • Development of disease-specific PET imaging methods for evaluation of drug efficacy
  • Development of a PET imaging based integrated research system to elucidate the molecular/cellular mechanisms of the psychiatric processes

Selected Publications

  1. Fujita, S., Mizoguchi, N., Aoki, R., Cui, Y.L., Koshikawa, N. and Kobayashi, M.:
    “Cytoarchitecture-dependent decrease in propagation velocity of cortical spreading depression in the rat insular cortex revealed by optical imaging.”
    Cerebral Cortex, in press.
  2. Cui, Y.L., Toyoda, H., Sako, T., Onoe, K., Hayashinaka, E., Wada, Y., Yokoyama, C., Onoe, H., Kataoka, Y. and Watanabe, Y.:
    “A voxel-based analysis of brain activity in high-order trigeminal pathway in the rat induced by cortical spreading depression.”
    NeuroImage, 108: 17-22. (2015)
  3. Mukai, H., Ozaki, D., Cui, Y.L., Kuboyama, T., Yamato-Nagata, H., Onoe, K., Takahashi, M., Wada, Y., Imanishi, T., Kodama, T., Obika, S., Suzuki, M., Doi, H. and Watanabe, Y.:
    “Quantitative evaluation of the improvement in the pharmacokinetics of a nucleic acid drug delivery system by dynamic PET imaging with 18F-incorporated oligodeoxynucleotides.”
    2014, J Control Release, 180: 92-99.
  4. Sako, T., Hasegawa, K., Nishimura, M., Kanayama, Y., Wada, Y., Hayashinaka, E., Cui, Y.L., Kataoka, Y., Senda, M. and Watanabe, Y.:
    “Positron emission tomography study on pancreatic somatostatin receptors in normal and diabetic rats with Ga-DOTA-octreotide: a potential PET tracer for beta cell mass measurement.”
    2013, Biochem Biophys Res Commun 442(1-2): 79-84.
  5. Shingaki, T., Takashima, T., Ijuin, R., Zhang, X., Onoue, T., Katayama, Y., Okauchi, T., Hayashinaka, E., Cui, Y.L., Wada, Y., Suzuki, M., Maeda, K., Kusuhara, H., Sugiyama, Y. and Watanabe, Y.:
    Evaluation of Oatp and Mrp2 Activities in Hepatobiliary Excretion using Newly Developed Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Tracer, [11C]Dehydropravastatin, in Rats.
    2013, J Pharmacol Exp Ther, 347(1), 193-202.
  6. Takashima, T., Nagata, H., Nakae, T., Cui, Y.L., Wada, Y., Kitamura, S., Doi, H., Suzuki, M., Maeda, K., Kusuhara, H., Sugiyama, Y., and Watanabe, Y.:
    “PET studies using 15R-[11C]TIC-Me for the evaluation of hepatobiliary transport.”
    J Pharmacol Exp Ther, 335(2), 314-323, 2010.
  7. Akazawa, K. H., Cui, Y.L., Tanaka, M., Kataoka, Y., Yoneda, Y., and Watanabe, Y.:
    “Mapping of regional brain activation in response to fatigue-load and recovery in rats with c-Fos immunohistochemistry.”
    Neurosci Res, 66(4), 372-9, 2010.
  8. Cui, Y.L., Takashima, T., Takashima-Hirano, M., Wada, Y., Shukuri, M., Tamura, Y., Doi, H., Onoe, H., Kataoka, Y. and Watanabe, Y.:
    “11C-PK11195 PET for the In Vivo Evaluation of Neuroinflammation in the Rat Brain After Cortical Spreading Depression.”
    J Nucl Med, 50(11), 1904-11, 2009.
  9. Cui, Y.L., Kataoka, Y., Inui, T., Mochizuki, T., Onoe, H., Matsumura, K., Urade, Y., Yamada, H. and Watanabe, Y.
    “Up-regulated neuronal COX-2 expression after cortical spreading depression is involved in non-REM sleep induction in rats.”
    J Neurosci Res 86(4), 929-936, 2008.
  10. Cui, Y.L., Takamatsu, H., Kakiuchi, T., Ohba, H., Kataoka, Y., Yokoyama, C., Onoe, H., Watanabe, Y., Hosoya, T., Suzuki, M., Noyori, R., Tsukada, H. and Watanabe, Y.:
    “Neuroprotection by a Central Nervous System-Type Prostacyclin Receptor Ligand Demonstrated in Monkeys Subjected to Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion and Reperfusion: A Positron Emission Tomography Study.”
    Stroke. 37, 2830-2836, 2006

Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Yi Long Cui
Unit Leader

Core Members

Di Hu
Postdoctoral Researcher
Takashi Okauchi
Research Associate
Ying Zeng
International Program Associate

Contact information

6-7-3 Minatojima-minamimachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0047, Japan

Email: cuiyl [at]

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