2024.06.12 Notice

A Paper First-Authored by Araya’s Chief Researcher Dr. Hamada has been Published in the Scientific Journal “Nature Communications”

On May 16, 2024, a paper titled “Optogenetic activation of dorsal raphe serotonin neurons induces brain-wide activation” (DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-024-48489-6) first-authored by Dr. Hamada, Chief Researcher at the Research and Development Department of Araya Inc., was published in the British scientific journal “Nature Communications”.
This research was supported by the Moonshot Research and Development Program Goal 9: “Realization of a mentally healthy and dynamic society by increasing peace of mind and vitality by 2050” led by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). Dr. Hamada is participating in one of the Moonshot Goal 9 projects: “Realization of a society where people can live a forward-looking life in the face of adversity” (PM: Makiko Yamada) specifically in Research and Development Item 1: “Development and Measurement of Maemuki (Forward-looking) Index”.

Scientists at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) and their collaborators from the Keio University School of Medicine revealed for the first time that stimulation of serotonin neurons from the dorsal raphe nucleus with awake mice increased the BOLD signal (*1) in multiple brain regions including behavior and motivation by combining optogenetics and high-field MRI.

Future Prospects
The findings from this study are expected to deepen our understanding of brain function and advance our comprehension of the mechanisms underlying pharmacological treatments for depression, such as antidepressants. Furthermore, unraveling the complex mechanisms of the serotonin system may contribute to the development of effective treatments for mental disorders in the future.

For a detailed explanation of this study, please refer to the release published by the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology.

*1) BOLD (Blood-Oxygenation Level-Dependent) signals: A type of signal reflects blood flow and blood oxygenation in the brain, and it is used to measure as a proxy of brain activity with MRI.

Related Links
Hiroaki Hamada Member Page
“Optogenetic activation of dorsal raphe serotonin neurons induces brain-wide activation” (Nature Communications)
“Lighting up the brain: What happens when our ‘serotonin center’ is triggered?” (OIST)
Moonshot Goal 9 "Realization of a Society that Can Live Positively Even Under Adversity" Project Page