Dr. Hirano’s research interests over a number of years have centered on the structure and function of the outer retina. The photoreceptor triad is a synaptic complex composed of a photoreceptor terminal, bipolar cell dendrites, and horizontal cell endings, and it forms the site of initial visual information transfer in the visual system. Horizontal cells mediate inhibitory feedback in the outer retina to generate, in part, the characteristic, antagonistic center-surround receptive field organization of visual neurons; however, the cellular mechanisms that underlie this neurotransmission is poorly understood.

  1. Hirano, A. A., Greengard, P. and Huganir, R. L., “Protein tyrosine kinase activity and its endogenous substrates in rat brain: A subcellular and regional survey”, Journal of Neurochemistry 50: 1447-1455 (1988).
  2. Hirano, A. A. and MacLeish, P. R., “Glutamate and 2-amino-4-phosphonobutyrate evoke an increase in potassium conductance in retinal bipolar cells”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 88: 805-809 (1991)
  3. Hirano, A.A., Hack, I., Wässle, H., and Duvoisin, R.M., “Cloning and immunocytochemical localization of a cyclic nucleotide-gated channel -subunit to all cone photoreceptors in the mouse retina”, Journal of Comparative Neurology 421:80-94 (2000)
  4. Haverkamp, S., Ghosh, K.K., Hirano, A.A., and Wässle, H., “Immunocytochemical description of five bipolar cell types of the mouse retina”, Journal of Comparative Neurology 455:463-476 (2003)
  5. Anselmi, L., Lakhter, A., Hirano, A.A., Tonini, M., and Sternini, C., “Expression of galanin receptor messenger RNAs in different regions of the rat gastrointestinal tract”, Peptides 26:815-819 (2005)
  6. Anselmi, L., Stella, S.L., Lakhter, A., Hirano, A., Tonini, M., and Sternini, C., “Galanin receptors in the rat gastrointestinal tract”, Neuropeptides 39:349-352 (2005)
  7. Hirano, A.A., Brandstätter, J.H., and Brecha, N.C., “Cellular distribution and subcellular localization of molecular components of vesicular transmitter release in horizontal cells of rabbit retina”, Journal of Comparative Neurology 488:70-81 (2005)
  8. Smith, G.B., Umbach, J.A., Hirano, A., and Gundersen, C.B., “Interaction between constitutively expressed heat shock protein, Hsc70, and cysteine string protein is important for cortical granule exocytosis in Xenopus oocytes”, Journal of Biological Chemistry 280:32669-32675 (2005)
  9. Chang, B., Heckenlively, J.R., Bayley, P.R., Brecha, N.C., Davisson, M.T., Hawes, N.L., Hirano, A.A., Hurd, R.E., Ikeda, A., Johnson, B.A., McCall, M.A., Morgans, C.W., Nusinowitz, S., Peachey, N.S., Rice, D.S., Vessey, K.A., Gregg, R.G. The nob2 mouse, a null mutation in Cacna1f: Anatomical and functional abnormalities in the outer retina and their consequences on ganglion cell visual responses.” Visual Neuroscience 223:11-24 (2006)
  10. Hirano, A.A., Brandstätter, J.H., Vila, A., and Brecha, N.C. “Robust syntaxin-4 immunoreactivity in mammalian horizontal cell processes.” Visual Neuroscience. 24:489-502 (2007)
  11. Guo, C., Stella, S.L., Jr., Hirano, A.A., Brecha, N.C. “Plasmalemmal and vesicular GABA transporter expression in the developing mouse retina.” Journal of Comparative Neurology. 512:6-26 (2009)
  12. Guo, C., Hirano, A.A., Stella, S.L., Jr., Bitzer, M., Brecha, N.C. “Guinea pig horizontal cells express GABA, the GABA-synthesizing enzyme GAD65, and the GABA vesicular transporter.” Journal of Comparative Neurology. 518:1647-1669 (2010)
  13. O’Brien, B.J., Hirano, A.A., Buttermore, E.D., Bhat, M.A., Peles, E. “Localization of the paranodal protein Caspr in the mammalian retina.” Molecular Vision. 16:1854-1863 (2010)
  14. Hirano, A.A., Brandstätter, J.H., Morgans, C.W., Brecha, N.C. “SNAP25 expression in mammalian horizontal cells.” Journal of Comparative Neurology. Journal of Comparative Neurology. 519(5):972-988 (2011)
  15. Liu, X., Hirano, A.A., Sun, X.-P., Brecha, N.C., Barnes, S. “Calcium channels in rat horizontal cells regulate feedback inhibition of photoreceptors through an unconventional GABA- and pH-sensitive mechanism.” Journal of Physiology.