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Dental Pharmacology


In dental pharmacology, the major goal of our research programs is to elucidate the operating principles of the body on the molecular level by utilizing electrophysiological and molecular biology techniques. We are also searching for biological molecules that could become new targets for drugs. Specifically, we are interested in neurotransmitter receptors and ion channels that regulate Ca2+ concentration in cells.

In regard to ion channels, we conduct research on the P-type (Cav2.1) voltage-gated Ca2+ channel of which mutations are associated with neurological disorders, including cerebellar ataxia, some forms of seizure, and familial migraine. We also research TRP channels, which are responsible for monitoring the extracellular environment. The most delicate and diverse sensors of temperature, and pressure in the whole body are located in the oral cavity. These sensors help with eating, chewing and swallowing, but also pronunciation of sounds. However, the actuating mechanisms of many of these sensors are not well understood even on the cellular level, let alone the molecular level. By understanding the actuating mechanisms of various sensors in oral cavity, we can contribute to the discovery of the even safer dental treatment methods and to improvement of quality of life in our aged society. In addition, understanding functional biological sensors will also eventually be of great benefit engineering and electronic engineering fields.

Faculty configuration

  • Prof.Minoru WakamoriiProf.Minoru Wakamori

Topics of Research

  • Research on Oral Sensation
  • Research on TRP Channels
  • Research on Voltage-Gated Ca2+ Channels
  • Research on the Neurotransmitter Release Mechanism

Recent Performance

  1. Nakao A, Miki T, Shimono K, Oka H, Numata T, Kiyonaka S, Matsushita K, Ogura H, Niidome T, Noebels JL, Wakamori M, Imoto K, Mori Y. Compromised maturation of GABAergic inhibition underlies abnormal network activity in the hippocampus of epileptic Ca2+ channel mutant mice, tottering. Pflügers Arch 467: 737-752, 2015.
  2. Unno T, Wakamori M, Koike M, Uchiyama Y, Ishikawa K, Kubota H, Yoshida T, Sasakawa H, Peters C, Mizusawa H, Watase K. Development of Purkinje cell degeneration in a knockin mouse model reveals lysosomal involvement in the pathogenesis of SCA6. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 109: 17693-17698, 2012.
  3. Mashimo T, Ohmori I, Ouchida M, Ohno Y, Tsurumi T, Miki T, Wakamori M, Ishihara S, Yoshida T, Takizawa A, Kato M, Hirabayashi M, Sasa M, Mori Y, Serikawa T. A missense mutation of the gene encoding voltage-dependent sodium channel (Nav1.1) confers susceptibility to febrile seizures in rats. J Neurosci 30: 5744-5753, 2010.
  4. Kiyonaka S, Kato K, Nishida M, Mio K, Numaga T, Sawaguchi Y, Yoshida T, Wakamori M, Mori E, Numata T, Ishii M, Takemoto H, Ojida A, Watanabe K, Uemura A, Kurose H, Morii T, Kobayashi T, Sato Y, Sato C, Hamachi I, Mori Y. Selective and direct inhibition of TRPC3 channels underlies biological activities of a pyrazole compound. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106: 5400-5405, 2009.
  5. Kiyonaka S, Wakamori M, Miki T, Uriu Y, Nonaka M, Bito H, Beedle AM, Mori E, Hara Y, De Waard M, Kanagawa M, Itakura M, Takahashi M, Campbell KP, Mori Y. RIM1 confers sustained activity and neurotransmitter vesicle anchoring to presynaptic Ca2+ channels. Nat Neurosci 10: 691-701, 2007.

Laboratory Contacts

E-mail:mpcb*dent.tohoku.ac.jp (Please change * to @.)