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RIKEN Center for Brain Science Laboratory for Neuron-Glia Circuitry

Laboratory Head: Hajime Hirase (Ph.D.)

Research Summary

Hajime  Hirase(Ph.D.)

The mammalian brain consists of neurons, glia, and vasculature. Among glial cells, astrocytes provide maintenance of extracellular space and metabolic support to neurons. In addition to the supportive roles of astrocytes, it has been hypothesized that astrocytes actively participate in neural information processing by releasing neurotransmitters such as glutamate and ATP. Although much of cellular and subcellular physiology of neurons and glia has been studied in great detail using in vitro preparations, network dynamics of neuron-glia circuitry remains largely unexplored in in vivo conditions. The overall goal of this laboratory is to investigate neuronal and glial microcircuitry in the neocortex and hippocampus in vivo.

Main Research Fields

  • Biological Sciences


  • brain
  • neuron
  • glia
  • cerebral vasculature

Selected Publications

  • 1.Oe .Y, Baba O., Ashida H., Nakamura K.C., Hirase H.:
    "Glycogen distribution in the microwave-fixed mouse brain reveals heterogeneous astrocytic patterns"
    Glia 64:1532-1545 (2016)
  • 2.Monai H., Ohkura M., Tanaka M., Oe Y., Konno A., Hirai H., Mikoshiba K., Itohara S., Nakai J., Iwai Y., Hirase H.:
    "Calcium imaging reveals glial involvement in transcranial direct current stimulation-induced plasticity in mouse brain"
    Nat Communications 7:11100 (2016).
  • 3.Shinohara Y., Hosoya A., Hirase H.:
    "Experience enhances gamma oscillations and interhemispheric asymmetry in the hippocampus"
    Nature Communications 4:1652 (2013)
  • 4.Takata N., Mishima T., Hisatsune C., Nagai T., Ebisui E., Mikoshiba K., Hirase H
    Astrocyte calcium signaling transforms cholinergic modulation to cortical plasticity in vivo
    Journal of Neuroscience, Vol 31, pp 18155-18165 (2011)
  • 5.Mishima T., Hirase H.:
    "In vivo intracellular recording suggests that gray matter astrocytes in mature cerebral cortex and hippocampus are electrophysiologically homogeneous"
    Journal of Neuroscience, Vol 30, pp 3093-3100 (2010)
  • 6.Sakatani S., Seto-Ohshima A., Shinohara Y., Yamamoto Y., Yamamoto H., Itohara S., Hirase H.:
    "Neural-activity-dependent release of S100B from astrocytes enhances kainate-induced gamma oscillations in vivo"
    Journal of Neuroscience, Vol.28, pp10928-36 (2008)
  • 7.Gulyas A.I., Buzsaki G., Freund T.F., Hirase H.:
    "Populations of hippocampal inhibitory neurons express different levels of cytochrome c"
    European Journal of Neuroscience Vol.23, pp2581-2594 (2006)

Recent Research Results

Related Links

Lab Members

Principal investigator

Hajime Hirase
Laboratory Head

Core members

Youichi Iwai
Research Scientist
Tsuneko Mishima
Research Scientist
Yuki Oe
Research Scientist
Hiromu Monai
Research Scientist
Katsuya Ozawa
Technical Staff I
Kazuko Yahagi
Technical Staff I
Xiaowen Wang
Technical Staff Ⅱ

Contact Information

2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan
Email: hajime.hirase [at] riken.jp