Fullness:the quality or state of being full

We, organisms, including humans, survive by adapting to ever-changing internal conditions (physical, physiological, mental, etc.), environments, and stimuli.

And we believe that Fullness is at the root of this adaptation. "Fullness", or desire, might be another way of putting it. For example, "desire for sleep". If you stay awake without sleep, your desire for sleep will increase. The image is a glass. If there is a glass labeled sleep, it will try to fill that when it runs out.

Of course, the glass is a metaphor, but organisms have glasses of various sizes within the larger cup labeled survival needs, and they try to fill those as needed. Through behavior and physiological responses. These glasses do not exist independently, but influence each other, determining the size and the amount of liquid that fills them.

We are interested in clarifying the mechanism by which these glasses are filled, i.e., the identity of Fullness and its mechanism, which is the root of various vital activities, with a focus on the central nervous system.


Elucidation of the neural mechanism of anorexia
Detailed research has been conducted on the neural mechanisms of eating and appetite, from the molecular to the neural circuit level. On the other hand, as for anorexia, a state of decreased appetite, its neural mechanisms are largely unknown. Therefore, the aim of our study is a comprehensive understanding of the neural mechanisms of anorexia from the molecular to the neural circuit level.

To this end, to understanding at the molecular level, we try to reveal changes of gene expression before and after anorexia with high spatiotemporal resolution, based on techniques that allow visualization of ON-OFF transitions in neural activity throughout the brain.

To the neural circuit level, we focus on brain regions that monitor brain-peripheral organ connections and mental and physical states, specifically labeling and manipulating neurons that process information related to visceral disorders in these brain regions, and attempting to elucidate the neural circuits of anorexia caused by visceral disorders.

Brain involved in postprandial sleepiness - Elucidation of the information transmission mechanism with organconnections
As sleep research, we study the effects of food on sleep. Postprandial sleepiness is frequently experienced, but its mechanism is not clear. Therefore, our research is aimed at elucidating the neural mechanisms of postprandial sleepiness.

Understanding the neural mechanisms involved in tasteperception
Taste information received by the taste buds on the tongue is transmitted and processed by the basic brain gustatory system consisting of the brainstem, thalamus, cerebral cortex and limbic system. The gustatory system is variable, and changes depending on internal factors such as mental state, physical state (physiological state, etc.), age, and illness, as well as external factors such as living environment and culture.

However, it has not been clarified that these changes in taste are attributable to what change (neural circuits, neural activity, gene expression, etc.) at what level of the "discrimination," "recognition," "value judgments," and "recall" that make up the taste information processing system. We study to understand the mechanism of changes in the information processing system in the brain of taste.


Visiting Professor
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Qinghua LIU
Associate Professor
Katsuyasu Sakurai.jpg
Katsuyasu SAKURAI
Yuka Terakoshiト.JPG
Akiko Sato.jpg
Akiko SATO
Doctoral Course
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Ryo Hara.JPG


  • 1. Okamura H, Yasugaki S, Suzuki-Abe H, Arai Y, Sakurai K, Yanagisawa M, Takizawa H, Hayashi Y. Long-Term Effects of Repeated Social Defeat Stress on Brain Activity during Social Interaction in BALB/c Mice. eNeuro. 9(3):ENEURO.0068-22, 2022
  • 2. Hasegawa E, Miyasaka A, Sakurai K, Cherasse Y, Li Y, Sakurai T. Rapid eye movement sleep is initiated by basolateral amygdala dopamine signaling in mice. Science.375(6584):994-1000, 2022
  • 3. Liu C, Lee CY, Asher G, Cao L, Terakoshi Y, Cao P, Kobayakawa R, Kobayakawa K, Sakurai K* and Liu Q* (* Corresponding author). Posterior subthalamic nucleus (PSTh) mediates innate fear-associated hypothermia in mice. Nat Commun. 12, 2648, 2021
  • 4. Luo T, Ma J, Wang Z*, Terakoshi Y, Lee CY, Asher G, Cao L, Chen Z, Sakurai K* and Liu Q* (* Corresponding author). Hyper-activation of mPFC underlies specific traumatic stress-induced sleep-wake EEG disturbances. Front Neurosci. 14:883, 2020
  • 5. Hua T, Chen B, Lu D, Sakurai K, Zhao S, Han BX, Kim J, Yin L, Chen Y, Lu J, Wang F. General anesthetics activate a potent central pain-suppression circuit in the amygdala. Nat Neurosci. 23(7):854-868, 2020
  • 6. Takahashi TM, Sunagawa GA, Soya S, Abe M, Sakurai K, Ishikawa K, Yanagisawa M, Hama H, Hasegawa E, Miyawaki A, Sakimura K, Takahashi M, Sakurai T. A discrete neuronal circuit induces a hibernation-like state in rodents. Nature. 583(7814), 109-114, 2020
  • 7. Tschida K, Michael V, Takatoh J, Han BX, Zhao S, Sakurai K, Mooney R, Wang F. A Specialized Neural Circuit Gates Social Vocalizations in the Mouse. Neuron. 103(3), 459-472, 2019
  • 8. Wang Y, Cao L, Lee CY, Matsuo T, Wu K, Asher G, Tang L, Saitoh T, Russell J, Klewe-Nebenius D, Wang L, Soya S, Hasegawa E, Chérasse Y, Zhou J, Li Y, Wang T, Zhan X, Miyoshi C, Irukayama Y, Cao J, Meeks JP, Gautron L, Wang Z, Sakurai K, Funato H, Sakurai T, Yanagisawa M, Nagase H, Kobayakawa R, Kobayakawa K, Beutler B, Liu Q. Large-scale forward genetics screening identifies TRPA1 as a chemosensor for thiazolines-evoked innate fear/defensive behaviors. Nat Commun. 9(1), 2041, 2018
  • 9. Rodriguez E, Sakurai K, Xu J, Chen Y, Toda K, Zhao S, Han BX, Ryu D, Yin H, Liedtke W, Wang F. A craniofacial-specific monosynaptic circuit enables heightened affective pain. Nat Neurosci.20(12), 1734-1743, 2017
  • 10. Sakurai K, Zhao S, Takatoh J, Rodriguez E, Lu J, Leavitt A, Fu M, Han BX, Wang F. Capturing and manipulating activated neuronal ensembles with CANE delineates a hypothalamic social-fear circuit. Neuron. 92(4), 739-753, 2016
  • 11. Suzuki J, Sakurai K, Yamazaki M, Abe M, Inada H, Sakimura K, Katori Y, Osumi N. Horizontal basal cell-specific deletion of Pax6 impedes recovery of the olfactory neuroepithelium following severe injury. Stem Cells Dev. 24(16), 1923-1933, 2015
  • 12. Sakurai K, Akiyama M, Cai B, Scott A, Han BX, Takatoh J, Sigrist M, Arber S, Wang F. The organization of submodality-specific touch afferent inputs in the vibrissa column. Cell Rep. 5(1), 87-98, 2013
  • 13. Nelson A, Schneider DM, Takatoh J, Sakurai K, Wang F, Mooney R. A circuit for motor cortical modulation of auditory cortical activity. J Neurosci. 33(36), 14342-14353, 2013
  • 14. Wang P, Chen T, Sakurai K, Han BX, He Z, Feng G, Wang F. Intersectional Cre driver lines generated using split-intein mediated split-Cre reconstitution. Sci Rep. 2, 497, 2012
  • 15. Scott A, Hasegawa H, Sakurai K, Yaron A, Cobb J, Wang F. Transcription factor short stature homeobox 2 is required for proper development of tropomyosin-related kinase B-expressing mechanosensory neurons. J Neurosci. 31(18), 6741-67419, 2011
  • 16. Sakurai K, Osumi N. The neurogenesis-controlling factor, Pax6, inhibits proliferation and promotes maturation in murine astrocytes. J Neurosci. 28(18), 4604-4612, 2008
  • 17. Watanabe A, Toyota T, Owada Y, Hayashi T, Iwayama Y, Matsumata Miho, Ishitsuka Y, Nakaya A, Maekawa M, Ohnishi T, Arai R, Sakurai K, Yamada K, Kondo H, Hashimoto K, Osumi N, Yoshikawa T. Fabp7 Maps to a Quantitative Trait Locus for a Schizophrenia Endophenotype. PLoS Biol.
  • 18. Mogi K, Sakurai K, Ichimaru T, Ohkura S, Mori Y, Okamura H. Structure and chemical organization of the accessory olfactory bulb in the goat. Anat Rec. 290(3), 301-310, 2007
  • 19. Matsuyama S, Ohkura S, Sakurai K, Tsukamura H, Maeda K, Okamura H. Activation of melanocortin receptors accelerates the gonadotropin-releasing hormone pulse generator activity in goats. Neurosci Lett. 383(3), 289-294, 2005
  • 20. Matsuyama S, Ohkura S, Ichimaru T, Sakurai K, Tsukamura H, Maeda K, Okamura H. Simultaneous observation of GnRH pulse generator activity and plasma concentration of metabolites and insulin during fasting and subsequent refeeding periods in Shiba goats. J Reprod Dev. 50(6), 697-704, 2004
  • 21. Sakurai K, Ohkura S, Matsuyama S, Katoh K, Obara Y, Okamura H. Body growth and plasma concentrations of metabolites and metabolic hormones during the pubertal period in female Shiba goats. J Reprod Dev. 50(2), 197-205, 2004