Disease Management DentistryDental 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.

Regarding ion channels, we conduct research on voltage-gated Ca2+ channels of which mutations are associated with cardiac disorders and neurological disorders, such as cerebellar ataxia, some forms of seizure, and familial migraine. We also research TRP channels, which are responsible for monitoring the extracellular environment. The finest and diverse sensors including temperature and tactile sensors are expressed in the oral cavity. These sensors help with pronunciation of sounds as well as eating, chewing, and swallowing. 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 development of the even safer dental treatment methods and to improvement of quality of life in our aged society. In addition, functional understanding of biological sensors will also eventually be of great benefit to mechanical engineering and electronic engineering fields.


Topics of Research

  • Research on Oral Sensation
  • Research on TRP Channels
  • Research on Voltage-Gated Ca2+ Channels
  • Research on the Neurotransmitter Release Mechanism
  • Developmental biology and morphogenesis of bone and teeth
  • Chemical and pharmacological approach to stem-cell biology and regenerative medicine

Recent Publications

  1. Takahashi K, Yoshida T, Wakamori M. Periodontal ligaments enhance neurite outgrowth in trigeminal ganglion neurons through Wnt5a production induced by mechanical stimulation. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 323: C1704–C1719, 2022
  2. Shindo Y, Nakamura HM, Nakai J, Wakamori M, Nakamura T. A parasympathetic neurotransmitter induces myoepithelial cell differentiation during salivary gland development. Exp Cell Res 416: 113137, 2022.
  3. Takahashi K, Araki K, Miyamoto H, Shirakawa R, Yoshida T, Wakamori M. Capsaicin and proton differently modulate activation kinetics of mouse transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 channel induced by depolarization. Front Pharmacol 12: 672157, 2021.
  4. Takahashi K, Yoshida T, Wakamori M. Mode-selective inhibitory effects of eugenol on the mouse TRPV1 channel. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 556: 156-162, 2021.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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