Professor Keiko Kato

Area and Subject Taught Animal Anatomy and Neurobiology
Research Theme(s) Study on molecular mechanisms underlying neural circuits plasticity in the limbic system.
Academic Degrees DVM (Osaka Prefect. Univ.),
Ph.D. (Osaka Univ.)
Keywords for Research Field E pilepsy, Emotion, Sialyltransferase, Growth Hormone, Model Mice.
Office Phone Number Not Public
e-mail

Research Overview

The brain is a central organ that supervises bodily functions, and it is composed of the sensory system, the motor system, and the limbic system. The brain receives inputs of sensory information from the outside world, transmits the stimuli to the limbic system and motor system through the neural network, orchestrates the network responding to the stimuli, and sends outputs from the brain. With continued stimulation of a region of the brain, changes, intensifications, and maintenances of neural plasticity, containing neurite outgrowth (axon and dendritic process), qualities and quantitative changes of neurotransmitter release, and activation of astrocytes and so on, are induced through neural networks and brain functions are acquired. On the other hand, the molecular mechanisms of developing neural plasticity based on evidence at the molecular level remain unknown, and present research has advanced a little from the starting point.
Our research goal was to investigate the mechanisms of developing emotional memory in the hippocampus-amygdala connections and the acquisition of neural plasticity in the limbic system. Furthermore, we aimed to develop of diagnostic methods and therapeutic drugs for the relief of epilepsy, anxiety, and mood disorders based on the clarification of the mechanism.

  1. Clarification of mechanism of epilepsy progression.
  2. Clarification of the neural network function based on emotions that sialylation controls.
  3. Effect of food intake on stress-sensitive model mice.
  4. Clarification of inhibitory mechanism of epileptic seizures with botulinum neurotoxin.

Notable Publications and Works in the Last Three Years

  1. Kato K (2015) Differential effects of dietary oils on emotional and congnitive behaviors. PLOS ONE 10 (3): e0120753.
  2. Srimontri P, Endo S, Sakamoto T, Nakayama Y, Kurosaka A, Itohara S, Hirabayashi Y, Kato K. (2014) Sialyltransferase ST3Gal IV deletion protects against temporal lobe epilepsy. J. Neurochem. 131: 675-687.
  3. Srimontri P., Hirota H., Kanno H., Okada T., Hirabayashi Y. and Kato K. (2014) Infusion of growth hormone into the hippocampus induces molecular and behavioral responses in mice. Exp Brain Res. 232: 2957-2966.