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In the basal ganglia, convergent input and dopaminergic modulation of the direct striatonigral and the indirect striatopallidal pathways are critical in rewarding and aversive learning and drug addiction. To explore how the basal ganglia information is processed and integrated through these two pathways, we developed a reversible neurotransmission blocking(More)
BACKGROUND Despite the accumulating genetic and molecular investigations into hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), it remains unclear how this condition develops and worsens pathologically and clinically in terms of the genetic-environmental interactions. Establishing a human disease model for HCM would help to elucidate these disease mechanisms; however,(More)
In severe congestive heart failure (CHF), sympathetic overactivity correlates with the exacerbation of cardiac performance. To test the hypothesis that the cardiac sympathetic nerve density dramatically changes with the acceleration of circulating norepinephrine (NE) concentration, we investigated the temporal association of nerve growth factor (NGF)(More)
The nucleus accumbens (NAc) serves as a key neural substrate that controls acute and adaptive behavioral responses to cocaine administration. In this circuit, inputs from the NAc are transmitted through two parallel pathways, named the direct and indirect pathways, and converge at the substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr). Our previous study using(More)
After skeletal muscle injury, neutrophils, monocytes, and macrophages infiltrate the damaged area; this is followed by rapid proliferation of myoblasts derived from muscle stem cells (also called satellite cells). Although it is known that inflammation triggers skeletal muscle regeneration, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain incompletely understood.(More)
BACKGROUND Left ventricular (LV) remodeling leads to chronic heart failure and is a main determinant of morbidity and mortality after myocardial infarction (MI). At the present time, therapeutic options to prevent LV remodeling are limited. METHODS AND RESULTS We created a large MI by permanent ligation of the coronary artery and identified a potential(More)
BACKGROUND Although inflammation is an important feature of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), the usefulness of local inflammatory markers as biomarkers for PAH is unknown. In this study, we tested whether plasma concentrations of human pentraxin 3 (PTX3), a local inflammatory marker, would be a useful biomarker for detecting PAH. METHODS Plasma PTX3(More)
Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (CMG cells) are multipotent and can be induced by 5-azacytidine to differentiate into cardiomyocytes. We characterized the electrophysiological properties of these cardiomyocytes and investigated their potential for use as transplantable bio-pacemakers. After differentiation, action potentials in spontaneously beating(More)
Patient-specific induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells can be generated by introducing transcription factors that are highly expressed in embryonic stem (ES) cells into somatic cells. This opens up new possibilities for cell transplantation-based regenerative medicine by overcoming the ethical issues and immunological problems associated with ES cells.(More)