Disease Management DentistryOral Physiology

Oral physiology concentrates on the research on neural or biological processes in the oro-facial functions. We perform functional imaging experiments in animals, psychophysical experiments in humans, and cell-level experiments by using molecular biological techniques. Our research themes are as follows: 1) Neural mechanisms of sensory and motor system, 2) Psychophysical studies on gustatory function and oral fat sensitivity, 3) Molecular mechanisms of mechanical stress reception in periodontal tissues, 4) Molecular mechanisms of differentiation, regeneration, and apoptosis in osteoblasts and neurons.


Topics of Research

  • Neural mechanisms of sensory and motor system
  • Psychophysical studies on gustatory function and oral fat sensitivity
  • Molecular mechanisms of mechanical stress reception in periodontal tissues
  • Molecular mechanisms of differentiation, regeneration, and apoptosis in osteoblasts and neurons

Recent Publications

  1. Kagawa-Nagamura, Y., Gengyo-Ando, K., Ohkura, M. and Nakai, J.: Role of tyramine in calcium dynamics of GABAergic neurons and escape behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans. Zoological Lett. 4:19 2018. doi: 10.1186/s40851-018-0103-1.
  2. Tanaka, T., Hong, G., Tominami, K. and Kudo, T.: Oral fat sensitivity is associated with social support for stress coping in young adult men. The Tohoku J. Exp. Med. 244(4): 249-261 2018.
  3. Sato, M., Motegi, Y., Yagi, S., Gengyo-Ando, K., Ohkura, M. and Nakai, J.: Fast varifocal two-photon microendoscope for imaging neuronal activity in the deep brain. Biomed Opt Express 8: 4049-4060, 2017. doi: 10.1364/BOE.8.004049.
  4. Gengyo-Ando, K., Kagawa-Nagamura, Y., Ohkura, M., Fei, X., Chen, M., Hashimoto, K. and Nakai, J.: A new platform for long-term tracking and recording of neural activity and simultaneous optogenetic control in freely behaving Caenorhabditis elegans. J Neurosci Methods 286: 56-68 2017.
  5. Tsuchiya, S., Chiba, M., Kishimoto, K.N., Nakamura, H., Tsuchiya, M. and Hayashi, H.: Transfer of the bone morphogenetic protein 4 gene into rat periodontal ligament by in vivo electroporation. Arch Oral Biol. 74: 123-132 2017.
  6. Ota, T., Chiba, M. and Hayashi, H.: Vibrational stimulation induces osteoblast differentiation and the upregulation of osteogenic gene expression in vitro. Cytotechnology 68(6): 2287-2299 2016.
  7. Shiba, Y., Gomibuchi, T., Seto, T., Wada, Y., Ichimura, H., Tanaka, Y., Ogasawara, T., Okada, K., Shiba, N., Sakamoto, K., Ido, D., Shiina, T., Ohkura, M., Nakai, J., Uno, N., Kazuki, Y., Oshimura, M., Minami, I. and Ikeda, U.: Allogeneic transplantation of iPS cell-derived cardiomyocytes regenerates primate hearts. Nature 538: 388-391, 2016.
  8. Manita, S., Suzuki, T., Homma, C., Matsumoto, T., Odagawa, M., Yamada, K., Ota, K., Matsubara, C., Inutsuka, A., Sato, M., Ohkura, M., Yamanaka, A., Yanagawa, Y., Nakai, J., Hayashi, Y., Larkum, M.E. and Murayama, M.: A Top-Down Cortical Circuit for Accurate Sensory Perception. Neuron 86:1304-1316, 2015.
  9. Inoue, M., Takeuchi, A., Horigane, S., Ohkura, M., Gengyo-Ando, K., Fujii, H., Kamijo, S., Takemoto-Kimura, S., Kano, M., Nakai, J., Kitamura, K. and Bito, H.: Rational design of a novel high-affinity, ultrafast, red calcium indicator R-CaMP2. Nat Methods 12: 64-70, 2015.
  10. Kudo, T., Kanetaka, H., Mochizuki, K., Tominami, K., Nunome, S., Abe, G., Kosukegawa, H., Abe, T., Mori, H., Mori, K., Takagi, T. and Izumi, S.: Induction of neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells treated with temperature-controlled repeated thermal stimulation. PLOS ONE, 10(4): e0124024 2015.
  11. Nakai, J., Ohkura, M. and Imoto, K.: A high signal-to-noise Ca2+ probe composed of a single green fluorescent protein. Nat Biotechnol 19: 137-141, 2001.

Laboratory Contacts

Prof. Junichi Nakai