We focus on how glial cells modulate in vivo neuronal network activity in health and disease

Hajime Hirase

Hajime Hirase, Ph.D.

Team Leader, Neuron-Glia Circuitry
hajime.hirase [at] riken.jp

Research Overview

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 Field


Selected Publications

  • 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)
  • 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).
  • Shinohara Y., Hosoya A., Hirase H.:
    "Experience enhances gamma oscillations and interhemispheric asymmetry in the hippocampus"
    Nature Communications 4:1652 (2013)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)