Yasushi Kajii

Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Edo, Tōkyō, Japan

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Publications (15)51.85 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The psychotomimetic effects of stimulant drugs including amphetamines and cocaine are known to change during the postnatal development in humans and experimental animals. To obtain an insight into the molecular basis of the onset of stimulant-induced psychosis, we have explored the gene transcripts that differentially respond to methamphetamine (MAP) in the developing rat brains using a differential cloning technique, the RNA arbitrarily-primed PCR. We identified from the rat neocortex a novel and developmentally regulated MAP-inducible gene mrt3 (MAP responsive transcript 3) that is transcribed to a presumable non-coding RNA of 3.8 kb and is located on the reverse strand of the F-box/LRR-repeat protein 17-like gene mapped on the rat chromosome Xq12. The mrt3 mRNAs are predominantly expressed in the brain and lung. Acute MAP injection upregulated the mrt3 expression in the neocortex at postnatal day 50, but not days 8, 15 and 23, in a D1 receptor antagonist-sensitive manner. This upregulation was mimicked by another stimulant, cocaine, whereas pentobarbital and D1 antagonist failed to alter the mrt3 expression. Moreover, repeated treatment with MAP for 5 days inhibited the ability of the challenge dose of MAP or cocaine to increase the neocortical mrt3 expression without affecting the basal mrt3 mRNA levels on day 14 of withdrawal. These late-developing, cocaine-cross reactive, D1 antagonist-sensitive and long-term regulations of mrt3 by MAP are similar to those of stimulant-induced behavioral sensitization, a model of the onset and relapse of stimulant-induced psychosis and schizophrenia, and therefore may be associated with the pathophysiology of the model.
    European Neuropsychopharmacology 10/2014; · 5.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In an in vivo dialysis experiment, the intra-medial frontal cortex infusion of a system A and Asc-1 transporter inhibitor, S-methyl-L-cysteine, caused a concentration-dependent increase in the dialysate contents of an endogenous coagonist for the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) type glutamate receptor, D-serine, in the cortical portion. These results suggest that these neutral amino acid transporters could control the extracellular D-serine signaling in the brain and be a target for the development of a novel threapy for neuropsychiatric disorders with an NMDA receptor dysfunction.
    Amino Acids 02/2013; · 3.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Using the RNA arbitrarily-primed PCR and the competitive RT-PCR, we have isolated the neocortical transcripts that are upregulated and unchanged in the adult and infant rats, respectively, after a systemic injection of an N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist phencyclidine (PCP), and found them identical to the synapse-associated protein-97 (SAP97) gene mRNAs. The upregulation of the SAP97 transcripts in the adult neocortex after the acute PCP injection was mimicked by another NMDA antagonist, dizocilpine, but not by the indirect dopamine agonists, methamphetamine and cocaine, a selective D1 receptor antagonist SCH23390, a D2 receptor-preferring antagonist haloperidol and a GABAergic anesthetic pentobarbital. Moreover, the pretreatment with a typical antipsychotic haloperidol failed to antagonize the increased neocortical SAP97 gene expression by PCP. These findings suggest that SAP97 might be involved in the molecular basis of the development-dependent onset of the non-dopaminergic symptoms seen in schizophrenia and the schizophrenia-like psychosis induced by NMDA receptor blocking.
    European neuropsychopharmacology: the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology 10/2009; 20(3):176-86. · 3.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Methamphetamine is a potent and indirect dopaminergic agonist which can cause chronic brain dysfunctions including drug abuse, drug dependence and drug-induced psychosis. Methamphetamine is known to trigger molecular mechanisms involved in associative learning and memory, and thereby alter patterns of synaptic connectivity. The persistent risk of relapse in methamphetamine abuse, dependence and psychosis may be caused by such alterations in synaptic connectivity. EphA5 receptors constitute large families of tyrosine kinase receptor and are expressed almost exclusively in the nervous system, especially in the limbic structures. Recent studies suggest EphA5 to be important in the topographic projection, development, and plasticity of limbic structures, and to be involved in dopaminergic neurotransmission. We used in situ hybridization to examine whether methamphetamine alters EphA5 mRNA expression in the brains of adult male Wister rats. EphA5 mRNA was widely distributed in the medial frontal cortex, cingulate cortex, piriform cortex, hippocampus, habenular nucleus and amygdala. Compared to baseline expression at 0h, EphA5 mRNA was significantly decreased (by 20%) in the medial frontal cortex at 24h, significantly increased (by 30%) in the amygdala at 9 and 24h, significantly but transiently decreased (by 30%) in the habenular nucleus at 1h after a single injection of methamphetamine. Methamphetamine did not change EphA5 mRNA expression in the cingulate cortex, piriform cortex or hippocampus. Our results that methamphetamine altered EphA5 mRNA expression in rat brain suggest methamphetamine could affect patterns of synaptic connectivity, which might be responsible for methamphetamine-induced chronic brain dysfunctions.
    Neuroscience Letters 10/2007; 424(2):116-21. · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the effects of the selective 5-HT1A receptor agonist osemozotan on repeated methamphetamine (METH)-induced behavioral sensitization and single METH-induced locomotor stimulant effect in mice, and then the neurochemical mechanisms using in vivo microdialysis. Repeated administration of METH for 7 days enhanced METH challenge-induced locomotor activity, and this sensitization was observed even after its withdrawal for 7-14 days. Administration of osemozotan to METH-sensitized mice inhibited the maintenance of behavioral sensitization. This effect was blocked by a low dose of WAY100635, a selective 5-HT1A receptor antagonist. A METH challenge increased the extracellular levels of dopamine (DA), 5-HT, and noradrenaline in the prefrontal cortex, but only the increase in 5-HT release was enhanced by repeated METH administration. This augmented response of 5-HT release was attenuated by osemozotan in a WAY100635-sensitive way. A single administration of osemozotan to drug naïve mice inhibited METH-induced locomotor stimulant effect and reduced METH-induced increase in prefrontal 5-HT, but not DA, release. These results suggest that prefrontal 5-HT release is involved at least partly in the effects of osemozotan on single and repeated METH-induced behavioral effects in mice, and imply that the 5-HT1A receptors may have a potential therapeutic value in the remission of schizophrenia.
    Neuropharmacology 10/2006; 51(4):914-22. · 4.82 Impact Factor
  • Kunio Yui, Yasushi Kajii, Toru Nishikawa
    Current Psychiatry Reviews 08/2006; 2(3):381-393.
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    ABSTRACT: The present work was conducted to obtain clues for the possible roles of a novel stimulant-inducible gene mrt1 (methamphetamine-responsive transcript 1) encoding a PDZ-PX protein in stimulant-induced behavioral sensitization. In the young adult rats, repeated daily treatment with methamphetamine (4 mg/kg, intraperitoneally, once a day) for 5 days caused an enhanced behavioral response to methamphetamine: behavioral sensitization. The 5-day intermittent administration of MAP upregulated the basal expression of mrt1 transcripts and eliminated the increasing effects of a challenge dose of MAP (1.6 mg/kg, i.p.) or cocaine (30 mg/kg, i.p.) on mrt1 expression on day 14 of withdrawal in the neocortex that has been considered to be composed of a neuron circuit implicated in the sensitization phenomenon. In contrast, the basal expression of other stimulant-inducible and plasticity-related genes arc and homer1a and the ability of MAP or cocaine challenge to augment the amounts of their transcripts were not affected by the repeated MAP regimen in the cortical area. These findings suggest the differential regulation by stimulant of neocortical mrt1, arc, and homer1a expression in the behaviorally sensitized animals and supports the view that stimulant induction of mrt1 may be involved in the early molecular signalings for stimulant sensitization.
    Synapse 10/2003; 49(3):143-9. · 2.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Single or repeated exposure to psychostimulants such as amphetamines and cocaine after postnatal week 3 leads to an enduring enhancement in the psychotomimetic responses elicited by a subsequent challenge of a stimulant in rodents. This behavioral sensitization phenomenon has been considered to be the neural consequences of stimulant-induced alterations in gene expression in the brain after a critical period of postnatal development. Using a differential cloning technique, RNA arbitrarily primed PCR, we have now identified from the rat neocortex a novel and developmentally regulated methamphetamine (MAP)-inducible gene mrt1 (MAP responsive transcript 1). mrt1 encodes two major types of PDZ- and PX-domains containing proteins of approximately 62 kDa in size with different carboxy termini, Mrt1a and Mrt1b. The mrt1 mRNAs for Mrt1a, mrt1a, and for Mrt1b, mrt1b, are predominantly expressed in various brain regions and the testes, respectively. Acute MAP injection upregulated mrt1b expression in the neocortex after postnatal week 3 in a D1 receptor antagonist-sensitive manner without affecting mrt1a expression. This upregulation was mimicked by another stimulant, cocaine, whereas pentobarbital and D1 antagonist failed to change the mrt1b transcript levels. Moreover, repeated daily treatment of MAP, but not MAP plus D1 antagonist, for 5 days caused an augmentation of the basal expression of mrt1b 2 and 3 weeks after the drug discontinuation. These late-developing, cocaine-crossreactive, D1 antagonist-sensitive and long-term regulations of mrt1b by MAP are similar to the pharmacological profiles of stimulant-induced behavioral sensitization, and therefore may be associated with the initiation and/or maintenance of the long-term neuronal adaptation.
    Molecular Psychiatry 05/2003; 8(4):434-44. · 15.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To obtain insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying the metabolism and functions of endogenous -serine, we have explored -serine-regulated transcripts in the neocortex of the infant rat treated with acute -serine administration by using an RNA fingerprinting technique. Cloning and sequence analysis of the corresponding cDNAs to the identified transcripts have revealed that the dsr-1 (-serine responsive transcript-1) mRNA is presumed to contain a novel sequence at the 5′-region, while the 631-base nucleotide sequence of its 3′-end is identical with that of rat M9.2 mRNA encoding a subunit of vacuolar type proton-ATPase. The predicted two open reading frames and their deduced amino acid sequences suggest that the dsr-1 product has a membrane spanning domain. The dsr-1 transcript was detected as a single band around 2.1 kb on the Northern blot. RT-PCR analyses have indicated that the dsr-1 transcript is expressed predominantly in the brain, lung, and testis, and that acute intraperitoneal injection of -serine significantly upregulates dsr-1 expression in the neocortex 3 and 15 h later without affecting the levels of the M9.2 gene transcript. These results suggest that dsr-1 products may be involved in the -serine-related metabolic or signaling pathways in mammalian brains.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 03/2001; · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report here the isolation and characterization of cDNA clones for a novel isoform of CDCrel-1 septin, termed CDCrel-1A, with a different 5' end sequence from the transcripts encoding the known CDCrel-1 (designated as CDCrel-1F) in the developing rat neocortex. Alternative polyadenylation site selections resulted in various transcripts for CDCrel-1A including the fusion forms with another gene, platelet glycoprotein Ibbeta (GPIbbeta). Expression of the distinct transcripts encoding CDCrel-1A and CDCrel-1F increased and decreased, respectively, from the infant to adult period. Therefore CDCrel-1A might be a major form of the CDCrel-1 septin in the adult neocortex of mammals.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 08/2000; 273(2):723-8. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have studied in the rat the effects of acute subcutaneous injection of psychotomimetics including methamphetamine (MAP), cocaine and phencyclidine (PCP) on the expression of a brain plasticity-related molecule, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) mRNA, using non-radioactive in situ hybridization histochemistry. In addition to the constitutive expression of tPA mRNA in cerebellar Purkinje cells, ventricular ependymal cells and meningeal blood vessel-associated cells, MAP (1-4 mg/kg), cocaine (30 mg/kg) and PCP (1.25-5 mg/kg) caused a transient and dose-dependent induction of the transcript with its peak at 3 h postinjection in a group of neurons of the medial and insular prefrontal cortices, and the piriform cortex. Another indirect dopamine agonist nomifensine (20-40 mg/kg) mimicked the tPA mRNA induction in the prefrontal cortical areas. Moreover, MAP induction of tPA mRNA was markedly inhibited by pretreatment with a D1 (R(+)-SCH23390: R(+)-7-chloro-8-hydroxy-3-methyl-1-phenyl-2,3,4,5-tetra-hydro-1H-3-be nza zepine hydrochloride) or a D2 (haloperidol) dopamine receptor-preferring antagonist. Intramedial striatum, but not intrathalamic, application of a fluorescent tracer, fluorogold, retrogradely labelled the cortical cells expressing tPA mRNA. The present results suggest that acute injections of the above psychotomimetic drugs may induce tPA mRNA in a group of the prefrontal cortical neurons that project to the medial striatum. This tPA mRNA expression may be due to the activation of the dopamine neurotransmission. Because it is well documented that single or repeated administration of methamphetamine, cocaine and PCP produces enduring changes in responses to these drugs in humans and experimental animals (e.g. behavioural sensitization), the psychotomimetic-induction of tPA mRNA could be implicated in an initial step in the plastic rearrangements in the neuronal circuits underlying long-lasting changes in behavioural expression.
    European Journal of Neuroscience 12/1998; 10(11):3387-99. · 3.67 Impact Factor
  • Neuroscience Research - NEUROSCI RES. 01/1998; 31.
  • Neuroscience Research 01/1998; 31. · 2.15 Impact Factor
  • Neuroscience Research 01/1997; 28. · 2.15 Impact Factor
  • Neuroscience Research 01/1996; 25. · 2.15 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

163 Citations
51.85 Total Impact Points


  • 2013–2014
    • Tokyo Medical and Dental University
      • Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science
      Edo, Tōkyō, Japan
    • Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation
      Ōsaka, Ōsaka, Japan
  • 1998–2007
    • National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry
      • Department of Mental Disorder Research
      Кодаиры, Tōkyō, Japan