Molecular Physiology

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1.Research Summary

Our group carries out basic research in auditory system with conventional as well as innovative technologies, focusing on the auditory peripheral organ, the cochlea. We have two groups, the Electrophysiology and Computational Science Group, and the Molecular Biology Group. These groups research complimentarily in our projects.
In order to analyze the mechanisms underlying functions of the cochlea, our lab is composed of the staffs and facilities to perform all of the electrophysiological, mathematical and molecular biological techniques. We conduct unprecedented unique researches including development of “state-of-the-art” methodology through the interdisciplinary collaboration with the top runners in different fields such as engineering and computational science.

2.Research Groups

3-1.Electrophysiology and Computational Science Group

Research subjects

3-2.Molecular Biology Group

Research subject

Please see our website for a detailed description of the Department of Molecular Physiology.

4.Research Results

[Area] Molecular physiology (Electrophysiology and Computational Science Group)

[Research subject]

Electrophysiological/computational science research on the mechanism underlying the high positive potential of endolymph

In the cochlea of the inner ear, “the endolymph” exhibits a high concentration of K+ and a positive potential of +80 mV. We measure the environment of potential/K+ in the cochlear stria vascularis, an epithelial tissue essential for maintenance of the endolymph, by using a K+-selective double-barreled microelectrode technique. In addition, we are striving to unravel the mechanism underlying the positive potential by verifying the reproduction of our experimental results with mathematical models. We are now testing various hypotheses by employing a bidirectional approach with mathematical models and electrophysiological experiments.



[Area] Molecular physiology (Molecular Biology Group)

[Research subject]

Proteomics analysis of the histological architecture of the cochlea and homeostasis for the electrochemical environment in the endolymph

The cochlea is endowed unique histological architectures and electrochemical environment. Little is known about the underlying molecular mechanisms. We conduct proteomic analysis that focuses on the membrane proteins constituting the cochlear stria vascularis through the collaboration with Osaka university. Data analysis of the detected proteins reveals deafness related molecules and candidates of their regulatory factors.