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Physiology 1

  • Satoshi MOHRI, M.D., Ph.D., Professor

Main Areas and Themes of Research

Cardiac Mechanics and Coronary Circulation

The heart adapts to several mechanical stresses by hypertrophy and geometrical changes. For examples, pressure overload (e.g. aortic stenosis) leads to concentric hypertrophy and volume overload (e.g. aortic insufficiency) leads to cardiac dilation. We are investigating the molecular mechanism of these adaptive changes and the effects of changes in coronary circulation.

Mechanical Stresses and Cardiac Hypertrophy

The heart can respond to a variety of mechanical strains by increasing cell size and changing ventricular geometries. We are investigating the molecular mechanism of these adaptive responses by focusing on ion transporters and channels.

Trans-endothelial migration of monocytes in early atherogenesis

Transmigration of monocytes across endothelial cells is a critical step in early atherogenesis, which leads to the accumulation of monocytes/macrophages in arterial intima. We are investigating the molecular mechanism of this process, with a particular focus on the molecular dynamics and interaction of cell surface proteins on both cells.

X-ray Bio-imaging

We are conducting two projects using x-rays from the SPring-8 synchrotron radiation facility. One project involves x-ray diffraction analysis of rat papillary muscle to investigate radial mass transfer of the myosin cross-bridge, while the other project is concerned with phase-contrast computed tomography investigations to evaluate lens protein concentration nondestructively.

Development of Bio-sensors

To evaluate small amounts of cellular products such as CO2, lactic acid and sodium bicarbonate, we have developed a pH/CO2 sensor system using ion-sensitive field-effect transistors (ISFETs).

Educational Features

Our programs for first and second year students consist of organ-based lectures including both Anatomy and Physiology. Since our teaching program includes instruction on the roles of dynamic organs in the living body such as heart, lung, digestive and reproductive systems etc., we have a strong association with the Department of Anatomy to provide students with a better understanding of the relation between structure and function. Moreover, we are trying to link discussions of physiology with clinical topics to inspire and motivate our students to learn. Higher year students studying clinical medicine also have the opportunity to learn about physiology. We hope students become interested in physiology from a new stand point.