Takaoki Kasahara

Takaoki Kasahara, Ph.D.

CDP-YCI: CDP: Career Development Program - Young Chief Investigator

Research Overview

As nerves communicate interact with each other in the brain, we can understand the words, think, remember, and feel moved. There are two ways to communicate: a synapse-based, direct signal transmission and a humoral signal transmission that spreads widely through fluids around nerves and brain or blood. We are examining the latter mode of nervous communication, which slowly conveys signals affecting wide functions of brain, such as "I'm feeling depressed today" or "I'm getting sleepy." We focus on the hormone melatonin in particular and explore its relationship with physiological and psychiatric functions.

Selected Publications

  1. Kasahara T, Kubota-Sakashita M, Nagatsuka Y, Hirabayashi Y, Hanasaka T, Tohyama K, and Kato T.
    "Cardiolipin is essential for early embryonic viability and mitochondrial integrity of neurons in mammals."
    FASEB J. 34: 1465-1480 (2020).
  2. Kageyama Y, Kasahara T, Kato M, Sakai S, Deguchi Y, Tani M, Kuroda K, Hattori K, Yoshida S, Goto Y, Kinoshita T, Inoue K, and Kato T.
    "The relationship between circulating mitochondrial DNA and inflammatory cytokines in patients with major depression."
    J. Affect. Disord. 233: 15–20 (2018).
  3. Kasahara T, Ishiwata M, Kakiuchi C, Fuke S, Iwata N, Ozaki N, Kunugi H, Minabe Y, Nakamura K, Iwata Y, Fujii K, Kanba S, Ujike H, Kusumi I, Kataoka M, Matoba N, Takata A, Iwamoto K, Yoshikawa T, and Kato T.
    "Enrichment of deleterious variants of mitochondrial DNA polymerase gene (POLG1) in bipolar disorder."
    Psychiatry Clin. Neurosci. 71: 518–529 (2017).
  4. Kasahara T, Takata A, Kato TM, Kubota-Sakashita M, Sawada T, Kakita A, Mizukami H, Kaneda D, Ozawa K, and Kato T.
    "Depression-like episodes in mice harboring mtDNA deletions in paraventricular thalamus."
    Mol. Psychiatry 21: 39–48 (2016).
  5. Kasahara T, Abe K, Mekada K, Yoshiki A, and Kato T.
    "Genetic variation of melatonin productivity in laboratory mice under domestication."
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 107: 6412–6417 (2010).
  6. Kasahara T, Kubota M, Miyauchi T, Ishiwata M, and Kato T.
    "A marked effect of electroconvulsive stimulation on behavioral aberration of mice with neuron-specific mitochondrial DNA defects."
    PLoS ONE 3: e1877 (2008).
  7. Hayashi A, Kasahara T, Iwamoto K, Ishiwata M, Kametani M, Kakiuchi C, Furuichi T, and Kato T.
    "The role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-induced XBP1 splicing during brain development."
    J. Biol. Chem. 282: 34525–34534 (2007).
  8. Kasahara T, Kubota M, Miyauchi T, Noda Y, Mouri A, Nabeshima T, and Kato T.
    "Mice with neuron-specific accumulation of mitochondrial DNA mutations show mood disorder-like phenotypes."
    Mol. Psychiatry 11: 577–593 (2006).
  9. Kakiuchi C, Iwamoto K, Ishiwata M, Bundo M, Kasahara T, Kusumi I, Tsujita T, Okazaki Y, Nanko S, Kunugi H, Sasaki T, and Kato T.
    "Impaired feedback regulation of XBP1 as a genetic risk factor of bipolar disorder."
    Nat. Genetics 35: 171–175 (2003).
  10. Kasahara T, and Kato T.
    "A new redox-cofactor vitamin for mammals."
    Nature 422: 832 (2003).