Ichiro Sora

Tohoku University, Japan

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Publications (245)857.33 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Knockout (KO) mice that lack the dopamine transporter (SL6A3; DAT) display increased locomotion that can be attenuated, under some circumstances, by administration of drugs that normally produce psychostimulant-like effects, such as amphetamine and methylphenidate. These results have led to suggestions that DAT KO mice may model features of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and that these drugs may act upon serotonin (5-HT) systems to produce these unusual locomotor decreasing effects. Evidence from patterns of brain expression and initial pharmacologic studies led us to use genetic and pharmacologic approaches to examine the influence of altered 5-HT1B receptor activity on hyperactivity in DAT KO mice. Heterozygous 5-HT1B KO and pharmacologic 5-HT1B antagonism both attenuated locomotor hyperactivity in DAT KO mice. Furthermore, DAT KO mice with reduced, but not eliminated, 5-HT1B receptor expression regained cocaine-stimulated locomotion, which was absent in DAT KO mice with normal levels of 5-HT1B receptor expression. Further experiments demonstrated that the degree of habituation to the testing apparatus determined whether cocaine had no effect on locomotion in DAT KO or reduced locomotion, helping to resolve differences among prior reports. These findings of complementation of the locomotor effects of DAT KO by reducing 5-HT1B receptor activity underscore roles for interactions between specific 5-HT receptors and dopamine (DA) systems in basal and cocaine-stimulated locomotion and support evaluation of 5-HT1B antagonists as potential, non-stimulant ADHD therapeutics.
    PLoS ONE 12/2014; 9(12):e115009. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0115009 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Repeated administration of methamphetamine (METH) enhances acute locomotor responses to METH administered in the same context, a phenomenon termed as 'locomotor sensitization'. Although many of the acute effects of METH are mediated by its influences on the compartmentalization of dopamine, serotonin systems have also been suggested to influence the behavioral effects of METH in ways that are not fully understood. The present experiments examined serotonergic roles in METH-induced locomotor sensitization by assessing: (a) the effect of serotonin transporter (SERT; Slc6A4) knockout (KO) on METH-induced locomotor sensitization; (b) extracellular monoamine levels in METH-treated animals as determined by in-vivo microdialysis; and (c) effects of serotonin (5-HT) receptor antagonists on METH-induced behavioral sensitization, with focus on effects of the 5-HT1B receptor antagonist SB 216641 and a comparison with the 5-HT2 receptor antagonist ketanserin. Repeated METH administration failed to induce behavioral sensitization in homozygous SERT KO (SERT-/-) mice under conditions that produced substantial sensitization in wild-type or heterozygous SERT KO (SERT+/-) mice. The selective 5-HT1B antagonist receptor SB 216641 restored METH-induced locomotor sensitization in SERT-/- mice, whereas ketanserin was ineffective. METH-induced increases in extracellular 5-HT (5-HTex) levels were substantially reduced in SERT-/- mice, although SERT genotype had no effect on METH-induced increases in extracellular dopamine. These experiments demonstrate that 5-HT actions, including those at 5-HT1B receptors, contribute to METH-induced locomotor sensitization. Modulation of 5-HT1B receptors might aid therapeutic approaches to the sequelae of chronic METH use.
    Behavioural Pharmacology 12/2014; 26. DOI:10.1097/FBP.0000000000000120 · 2.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Evidence based on clinical and experimental animal studies indicates that adolescent social deprivation influences alcohol consumption in a sex-dependent manner, perhaps by influencing stress responses. However, the mechanisms underlying the interaction between these phenomena remain to be elucidated. Since the μ-opioid receptor (MOP) has been reported to have key roles in social stress responses as well as the reinforcing/addictive effects of ethanol, MOP is a candidate molecule that may link adolescent social deprivation and subsequent alterations in alcohol consumption.
    Psychopharmacology 11/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00213-014-3784-y · 3.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Early social experience has been consistently shown increase alcohol consumption, perhaps by influencing stress systems. However, the connection between these effects and alcohol consumption is complex and poorly understood. This experiment was based on the hypothesis that the effects of chronic social isolation on alcohol consumption would be influenced by both sex and the functioning of Mu-opioid receptor (MOP) systems.
    Alcohol and alcoholism (Oxford, Oxfordshire). Supplement 09/2014; 49 Suppl 1:i55. DOI:10.1093/alcalc/agu054.11
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    ABSTRACT: Evidence indicates that widely prescribed mood stabilizer, lithium (Li), mediates cellular functions of differentiated monocytic cells, including microglial migration, monocyte-derived dendritic cell (MoDC) differentiation, and amelioration of monocytic malfunctions observed in neuropsychiatric diseases. Here, we surveyed molecules which take major roles in regulating these monocytic cellular functions. MoDCs treated with 1 and 5 mM Li, and microglia separated from Li-treated mice were subjected to microarray-based comprehensive gene expression analyses. Findings were validated using multiple experiments, including quantitative PCR, ELISA and immunostaining studies. Differing effects of Li on the two cell types were observed. Inflammation- and chemotaxis-relevant genes were significantly over-represented among Li-induced genes in MoDCs, whereas no specific category of genes was over-represented in microglia. The third component of complement (C3) was the only gene which was significantly induced by a therapeutic concentration of Li in both MoDCs and microglia. C3 production was increased by Li via GSK-3 inhibition. Li-induced C3 production was seen only in differentiated monocytic cells, but not in circulating monocytes. Our findings highlight a link between Li treatment and C3 production in differentiated monocytic cells, and reveal a regulatory role of GSK-3 in C3 production. Induction of microglial C3 production might be a novel neuroprotective mechanism of Li via regulating interactions between microglia and neurons. GLIA 2014
    Glia 08/2014; 63(2). DOI:10.1002/glia.22749 · 5.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: μ-opioid receptor knockout (MOP-KO) mice display several behavioral differences from wild-type (WT) littermates including differential responses to nociceptive stimuli. Brain structural changes have been tied to behavioral alternations noted in transgenic mice with targeting of different genes. Hence, we assess the brain structure of MOP-KO mice.
    British Journal of Pharmacology 06/2014; DOI:10.1111/bph.12807 · 5.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Psychological stress is associated with the aggravation of asthma symptoms. Glucocorticoids (GC), which are stress hormones released upon exposure to stress, have the potential to shift immune responses towards a predominant Th2 response by priming antigen-presenting cells to produce lower levels of IL-12 as well as reducing the development of regulatory T cells. However, the involvement of GC in psychological stress-induced exacerbations of allergic asthma has not yet been clarified. Methods: Sensitized mice were exposed to restraint stress followed by forced swimming stress, during which a GC receptor antagonist or a GC synthesis inhibitor was administered, and then antigen was inhaled. Corticosterone levels in the blood were measured in stressed and nonstressed mice. After antigen inhalation, the airway responses to aerosolized methacholine, epithelial mucus secretion and airway inflammation were evaluated, and the IL-13 contents in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid were measured. Results: The exposure to stress significantly increased corticosterone levels. Allergic airway responses and the increase of IL-13 contents evoked by antigen inhalation were significantly higher in stressed mice than in nonstressed mice. The administration of a GC receptor antagonist and a GC synthesis inhibitor during stress exposure significantly reduced the exacerbation of the airway responses and the increase of IL-13 contents in stressed mice challenged with antigen. Conclusions: These results indicate that the increased release of GC upon exposure to stress has a priming effect on the aggravation of allergic airway responses following the exposure, suggesting a pathophysiological role for the neuroendocrine axis in linking psychological stress to asthma exacerbations. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
    International Archives of Allergy and Immunology 04/2014; 163(4):297-306. DOI:10.1159/000360577 · 2.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A promoter variant of the serotonin transporter (SERT) gene is known to affect emotional and cognitive regulation. In particular, the "short" allelic variant is implicated in the etiology of multiple neuropsychiatric disorders. Heterozygous (SERT(+/-)) and homozygous (SERT(-/-)) SERT mutant mice are valuable tools for understanding the mechanisms of altered SERT levels. Although these genetic effects are well investigated in adulthood, the developmental trajectory of altered SERT levels for behavior has not been investigated. We assessed anxiety-like and cognitive behaviors in SERT mutant mice in early adolescence and adulthood to examine the developmental consequences of reduced SERT levels. Spine density of pyramidal neurons was also measured in corticolimbic brain regions. Adult SERT(-/-) mice exhibited increased anxiety-like behavior, but these differences were not observed in early adolescent SERT(-/-) mice. Conversely, SERT(+/-) and SERT(-/-) mice did display higher spontaneous alternation during early adolescence and adulthood. SERT(+/-) and SERT(-/-) also exhibited greater neuronal spine densities in the orbitofrontal but not the medial prefrontal cortices. Adult SERT(-/-) mice also showed an increased spine density in the basolateral amygdala. Developmental alterations of the serotonergic system caused by genetic inactivation of SERT can have different influences on anxiety-like and cognitive behaviors through early adolescence into adulthood, which may be associated with changes of spine density in the prefrontal cortex and amygdala. The altered maturation of serotonergic systems may lead to specific age-related vulnerabilities to psychopathologies that develop during adolescence.
    Psychopharmacology 04/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00213-014-3554-x · 3.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Activation of mu-opioid receptor (MOR) disinhibits dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) through inhibition of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic neurons. This mechanism is thought to play a pivotal role in mediating reward behaviors. Here, we characterised VTA-projecting enkephalinergic neurons in the anterior division of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST) and investigated their targets by examining MOR expression in the VTA. In the BST, neurons expressing preproenkephalin mRNA were exclusively GABAergic, and constituted 37.2% of the total GABAergic neurons. Using retrograde tracer injected into the VTA, 21.6% of VTA-projecting BST neurons were shown to express preproenkephalin mRNA. Enkephalinergic projections from the BST exclusively formed symmetrical synapses onto the dendrites of VTA neurons. In the VTA, 74.1% of MOR mRNA-expressing neurons were GABAergic, with the rest being glutamatergic neurons expressing type-2 vesicular glutamate transporter mRNA. However, MOR mRNA was below the detection threshold in dopaminergic neurons. By immunohistochemistry, MOR was highly expressed on the extrasynaptic membranes of dendrites in GABAergic VTA neurons, including dendrites innervated by BST-VTA projection terminals. MOR was also expressed weakly on GABAergic and glutamatergic terminals in the VTA. Given that GABAA α1 is expressed at GABAergic BST-VTA synapses on dendrites of GABAergic neurons [T. Kudo et al. (2012) J. Neurosci., 32, 18035-18046], our results collectively indicate that the BST sends dual inhibitory outputs targeting GABAergic VTA neurons; GABAergic inhibition via 'wired' transmission, and enkephalinergic inhibition via 'volume' transmission. This dual inhibitory system provides the neural substrate underlying the potent disinhibitory control over dopaminergic VTA neurons exerted by the BST.
    European Journal of Neuroscience 03/2014; 39(11). DOI:10.1111/ejn.12503 · 3.67 Impact Factor
  • 12/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2013.12.029
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    ABSTRACT: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and gene expression analyses have revealed that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with multifactorial diseases, such as schizophrenia, are significantly more likely to be associated with expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL). It was recently suggested that an immune system imbalance plays an important role in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Interleukin-19 is a novel cytokine that may play multiple roles in immune regulation and various diseases. We selected eight tag SNPs in the eQTL of the IL-19 gene. Seven of the SNPs are putative cis-acting SNPs. Then, we conducted a case-control study using two independent samples. The first sample comprised 567 schizophrenia patients and 710 controls, and the second sample comprised 677 schizophrenia patients and 667 controls. We identified the TGAA haplotype as being significantly associated with schizophrenia (p=0.0036 and corrected p=0.0264), although a combined analysis of the TGAA haplotype with the replication samples exhibited a nominally significant difference (p=0.022 and corrected p=0.235). These results suggest that the IL-19 gene might slightly contribute to the genetic risk of schizophrenia. Thus, further research on the association of eQTL SNPs with schizophrenia is warranted.
    Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 12/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.pnpbp.2013.12.006 · 4.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The present study investigated the genetic association of the disrupted-in-schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) gene with suicide using 398 Japanese completed suicides and 511 healthy controls. The functional Ser704Cys variant of DISC1 was nominally associated with completed suicide. Enhanced evidence of association was observed in a multi-marker sliding window haplotype analysis (the lowest p=0.002). These findings warrant further studies with a larger sample size to confirm the association of DISC1 with suicide.
    11/2013; 215(1). DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2013.11.007
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    ABSTRACT: Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) is characterized by significant difficulties of inattention and/or hyperactivity and impulsiveness. Dopamine transporter (DAT) knockout (KO) mice have been suggested to constitute an animal model of AD/HD. DAT KO mice exhibit persistently and profoundly elevated extracellular dopamine levels in the striatum and nucleus accumbens. These mice display numerous behavioral alterations that model aspects of AD/HD that include hyperactivity in novel environments and impulsivity. Both hyperactivity and impulsivity can be ameliorated by treatment with methylphenidate and nisoxetine. These drugs increase extracellular dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the prefrontal cortex. It is likely that methylphenidate and nisoxetine activate the prefrontal catecholamine systems by blocking the norepinephrine transporter (NET) function, thereby helping to improve AD/HD-like behavior in DAT KO mice.
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    ABSTRACT: Dopamine regulates the psychomotor stimulant activities of amphetamine-like substances in the brain. The effects of dopamine are mediated through five known dopamine receptor subtypes in mammals. The functional relevance of D5 dopamine receptors in the central nervous system is not well understood. To determine the functional relevance of D5 dopamine receptors, we created D5 dopamine receptor-deficient mice and then used these mice to assess the roles of D5 dopamine receptors in the behavioral response to methamphetamine. Interestingly, D5 dopamine receptor-deficient mice displayed increased ambulation in response to methamphetamine. Furthermore, dopamine transporter threonine phosphorylation levels, which regulate amphetamine-induced dopamine release, were elevated in D5 dopamine receptor-deficient mice. The increase in methamphetamine-induced locomotor activity was eliminated by pretreatment with the dopamine transporter blocker GBR12909. Taken together, these results suggest that dopamine transporter activity and threonine phosphorylation levels are regulated by D5 dopamine receptors.
    PLoS ONE 10/2013; 8(10):e75975. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0075975 · 3.53 Impact Factor
    This article is viewable in ResearchGate's enriched format
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    ABSTRACT: The Disrupted-in-Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) gene plays a role in the regulation of neural development. Previous evidence from genetic association and biological studies implicates the DISC1 gene as having a role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. In the present study, we explored the association between DISC1 missense mutation rs821616 (Ser704Cys) single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and four other SNPs (rs1772702, rs1754603, rs821621, rs821624) in the related haplotype block and schizophrenia in the Japanese population. We could not find a significant association of selected SNPs with schizophrenia after correction for multiple testing. We performed a meta-analysis of the Ser704Cys variant in schizophrenia using data from the present study and five previous Japanese population studies, and found no association with schizophrenia. We also examined DISC1 immunoreactivity in postmortem prefrontal cortex specimens of schizophrenia patients compared to control samples. The immunoreactivity revealed a significant decrease of DISC1 protein expression in the schizophrenia samples after ruling out potential confounding factors. However, the Ser704Cys variant did not show effects on DISC1 immunoreactivity. These results provide evidence that this functional genetic variation of DISC1 do not underlie the pathophysiology of schizophrenia in the Japanese population.
    Neuroscience Research 09/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.neures.2013.08.010 · 2.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dopamine (DA) is accumulated and compartmentalized by the dopamine transporter (DAT; SLC3A6) and the vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2; SLC18A2). These transporters work at the plasma and vesicular membranes of dopaminergic neurons, respectively, and thus regulate levels of DA in neuronal compartments that include the extravesicular cytoplasmic compartment. DA in this compartment has been hypothesized to contribute to oxidative damage that can reduce the function of dopaminergic neurons in aging brains and may contribute to reductions in dopaminergic neurochemical markers, locomotor behavior and responses to dopaminergic drugs that are found in aged animals. The studies reported here examined aged mice with heterozygous deletions of VMAT2 or of DAT, which each reduce transporter expression to about 50% of levels found in wild-type (WT) mice. Aged mice displayed reduced locomotor responses under a variety of circumstances, including in response to locomotor stimulants, as well as changes in monoamine levels and metabolites in a regionally dependent manner. Several effects of aging were more pronounced in heterozygous VMAT2 knockout (KO) mice, including aging induced reductions in locomotion and reduced locomotor responses to cocaine. By contrast, some effects of aging were reduced or not observed in heterozygous DAT KO mice. These findings support the idea that altered DAT and VMAT2 expression affect age-related changes in dopaminergic function. These effects are most likely mediated by alterations in DA compartmentalization, and might be hypothesized to be more exacerbated by other factors that affect the metabolism of cytosolic DA.
    Neuropharmacology 08/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2013.07.031 · 4.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Methamphetamine (METH) dependence show strong familial and genetic influences in family and twin studies. METH exerts its reinforcing effects by modulating monoaminergic transmission, of which dopamine is supposed to be important. Previously, experimental animals were being used to identify mechanisms of action of METH that are related to its abuse and toxicity, and genetic mouse models have also been used to define genes that may predict risk for the development of drug addiction. We found that genetic variances of dopamine transporter, dopamine receptor, micro-opioid receptor, serotonin 1A receptor, serotonin 6 receptor, and adenosine 2A adenosine receptor could be vulnerability factors for METH dependence or psychosis in the Japanese population. Genetic analysis with a genome-wide association study (GWAS)-based approach has been successful for investigating the genetic influences of METH dependence and other complex features. Collaborative studies with JGIDA and NIDA/NIH have obtained the results that the genetic vulnerability to METH dependence contributes to other major drug addiction. The genetic studies for METH dependence might help to identify the risk of individuals and to develop treatments that take advantage of individual genetic information in the future.
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    ABSTRACT: We explored the association between the brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene with suicide using 307 Japanese completed suicides, 380 healthy controls, and data from previously published samples. The meta-analyses of the valine with methionine in codon 66 (Val66Met) single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) showed that the Met-allele tended to be associated with attempted suicide in Asian populations, but not with the completed suicide.
    07/2013; 209(3). DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2013.05.030
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    ABSTRACT: Methamphetamine (METH) use can provoke psychotic reactions requiring immediate treatment, namely METH-induced psychosis. Although the distinction between METH-induced and primary psychosis is important for understanding their clinical courses, we do not have clear diagnostic procedure by their symptoms. Not only are there similarities between the clinical features of METH-induced psychosis and schizophrenia, but there is also epidemiological evidence of a shared genetic risk between 'METH-related' disorders and schizophrenia, which makes the differentiation of these two conditions difficult. In this study, we conducted genome-wide association studies (GWAS) targeting METH-dependent patients. The METH sample group, used in the METH-dependence GWAS, included 236 METH-dependent patients and 864 healthy controls. We also included a 'within-case' comparison between 194 METH-induced psychosis patients and 42 METH-dependent patients without psychosis in a METH-induced psychosis GWAS. To investigate the shared genetic components between METH dependence, METH-induced psychosis and schizophrenia, data from our previous schizophrenia GWAS (total N=1108) was re-analyzed. In the SNP-based analysis, none of the SNPs showed genome-wide significance in either dataset. By performing a polygenic component analysis, however, we found that a large number of 'risk' alleles for METH-induced psychosis are overrepresented in individuals with schizophrenia (Pbest=0.0090). Conversely, we did not detect enrichment either between METH dependence and METH-induced psychosis or between METH dependence and schizophrenia. The results support previous epidemiological and neurobiological evidence for a relationship between METH-induced psychosis and schizophrenia. These also suggest that the overlap between genes scored as positive in these datasets can have higher probability as susceptibility genes for psychosis.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 17 April 2013; doi:10.1038/npp.2013.94.
    Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 04/2013; DOI:10.1038/npp.2013.94 · 8.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This preliminary study was performed to test the reliability and validity of the Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS) Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB), developed by the National Institute of Mental Health MATRICS initiative, as an assessment tool in a Japanese-language version (MCCB-J). The subjects for the present study were 37 patients with schizophrenia. Each subject gave written informed consent to participate in the research. In order to examine the validity of the MCCB-J, the correlation between the MCCB-J and the Japanese-language version of the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS) was determined. Cronbach's alpha for the MCCB-J was 0.72. The MCCB-J composite score was significantly correlated with all subtests of the MCCB-J. There was a significant correlation between the MCCB-J and the BACS composite score. This preliminary study indicates that the MCCB-J has good psychometric properties and validity.
    Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 04/2013; 67(3):182-8. DOI:10.1111/pcn.12029 · 2.04 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

7k Citations
857.33 Total Impact Points


  • 2006–2014
    • Tohoku University
      • • Department of Biological Psychiatry
      • • Department of Medical Genetics
      • • Graduate School of Medicine
  • 2013
    • Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)
      Edo, Tōkyō, Japan
    • Kobe University
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Kōbe, Hyōgo, Japan
  • 2012
    • Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science
      Edo, Tōkyō, Japan
  • 2004–2011
    • National Institute on Drug Abuse
      Роквилл, Maryland, United States
    • Medical College of Wisconsin
      • Department of Anesthesiology
      Milwaukee, WI, United States
  • 2010
    • Hiroshima International University
      • Faculty of Pharmaceutical Science
      Hirosima, Hiroshima, Japan
    • Hokkaido University
      • Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences
      Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido, Japan
  • 2008
    • Internet Initiative Japan
      Edo, Tōkyō, Japan
  • 1991–2008
    • Okayama University
      • Department of Neuropsychiatry
      Okayama, Okayama, Japan
  • 2007
    • Tohoku Pharmaceutical University
  • 2006–2007
    • Fujita Health University
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Nagoya, Aichi, Japan
  • 2005
    • Osaka City University
      Ōsaka, Ōsaka, Japan
  • 2000–2004
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
      Baltimore, MD, United States
  • 2001
    • National Institutes of Health
      • Molecular Neurobiology Research Branch
      Maryland, United States
    • Northern Inyo Hospital
      BIH, California, United States