Research Support

Brain rejuvenation through activation of neural stem cells based on understanding of mechanistic and biochemical factors

Project Gist

Understanding neural stem cell activation from mechanistic and biochemical factors


Neural stem cells, Lysosome, Quiescence, Microenvironment, Elastic modulus

Background and Purpose

Neural stem cells are maintained throughout life in the adult brains of mammals, including humans, but most of them have ceased to function and stay in a quiescent state. Once activated, the neural stem cells can self-renew and differentiate into neurons. It is known that the unique surrounding microenvironment, called the stem cell niche, regulates neural stem cell function in the brain. We focused on brain stiffness which changes with age and brain diseases. In this study, we aimed to understand how brain tissue stiffness (elastic modulus) contributes to the activation of neural stem cells through collaborative research with a group in Korea.

Project Achievements

In collaboration with Korean brain researchers, specialists in brain development, and atomic force microscopy measurements of brain stiffness, we analyzed the effects of neural stem cells during maturation and age-related changes in brain tissue stiffness. We organized online meetings and workshops with domestic and international researchers on brain maturation, aging, and stiffness measurements. As a result, we published three papers in international journals. Moreover, the principal investigator was selected for “AMED PRIME” in 2020 for four years and “Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research for Transformative Research Area A” in 2023 for five years. We established networks that will lead our research in the future.

Future Prospects

We plan to develop our research based on the network established during this research grant. We will conduct joint research at the Korean Brain Institute and organize joint workshops with Japan and Korea. We will also promote collaborative research and organize seminars with researchers in the team in the Transformative Research Area.


Image of the research project

Principal Investigator


Graduate School of Biostudies
She has been conducting research at Kyoto University since she was a graduate student. She is interested in protein homeostasis and remodeling in neural stem cells. In addition, she enjoys her research in raising her kids. Her hobby is playing the piano.

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