Hitoshi Morikawa

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Ethanol stimulates the firing activity of midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons, leading to enhanced dopaminergic transmission in the mesolimbic system. This effect is thought to underlie the behavioral reinforcement of alcohol intake. Ethanol has been shown to directly enhance the intrinsic pacemaker activity of DA neurons, yet the cellular mechanism mediating(More)
Activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) causes membrane hyperpolarization in midbrain dopamine neurons. This hyperpolarization results from the opening of Ca(2+)-sensitive K(+) channels, which is mediated by the release of Ca(2+) from intracellular stores. Neurotransmitter-induced mobilization of Ca(2+) is generally ascribed to the action of(More)
Synaptically released glutamate evokes slow IPSPs mediated by metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) in midbrain dopamine neurons. These mGluR IPSPs are caused by release of Ca(2+) from intracellular stores and subsequent activation of small-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels (SK channels). To further investigate the intracellular mechanisms(More)
During early postnatal development, midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons display anomalous firing patterns and amphetamine response. Spontaneous miniature hyperpolarizations (SMHs) are observed in DA neurons during the same period but not in adults. These hyperpolarizations have been shown to be dependent on the release of Ca2+ from internal stores and the(More)
Amphetamine is a highly addictive psychostimulant that promotes the release of the catecholamines dopamine and norepinephrine. Amphetamine-induced release of dopamine in the midbrain inhibits the activity of dopamine neurons through activation of D2 dopamine autoreceptors. Here we show that amphetamine may also excite dopamine neurons through modulation of(More)
Previous studies showed that mice with genetic predisposition for high alcohol consumption as well as human alcoholics show changes in brain expression of genes related to immune signaling. In addition, mutant mice lacking genes related to immune function show decreased alcohol consumption (Blednov et al., 2011), suggesting that immune signaling promotes(More)
BACKGROUND Activation of the dopaminergic (DA) neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) by ethanol has been implicated in its rewarding and reinforcing effects. At most central synapses, ethanol generally increases inhibitory synaptic transmission; however, no studies have explored the effect of acute ethanol on GABAergic transmission in the VTA. (More)
Drug addiction is driven, in part, by powerful drug-related memories. Deficits in social life, particularly during adolescence, increase addiction vulnerability. Social isolation in rodents has been used extensively to model the effects of deficient social experience, yet its impact on learning and memory processes underlying addiction remains elusive.(More)
The striatum plays a central role in sensorimotor learning and action selection. Tonically active cholinergic interneurons in the striatum give rise to dense axonal arborizations and significantly shape striatal output. However, it is not clear how the activity of these neurons is regulated within the striatal microcircuitry. In this study, using rat brain(More)
Although 5-HT(1B) receptors are believed to be expressed on nerve terminals, their precise mode of action is not fully understood because of the lack of selective antagonists. The 5-HT(1B) receptor knockout mouse was used in the present investigation to assess the function of 5-HT(1B) receptors in the modulation of synaptic transmission in three areas of(More)