Basic Neuroscience Branch
Department of Molecular Neurobiology

Neurons and glial cells communicate to each other not only via neurotransmitters but also using various bioactive proteins, namely neurotrophic factors and cytokines. Our long-term objective is to elucidate the molecular and pathologic mechanisms of how these bioactive proteins regulate brain development or perturb neural functions.

Our efforts have been paid to the following projects: (1) the specificity and functionality of the intracellular signaling driven by these bioactive proteins (BDNF, mTOR, S6 kinase, AMPK), (2) the cytokine-dependent regulation of monoaminergic development and function (GDNF, EGF, NRG1, EGFR, ErbB4), and (3) the molecular and system neuropathology of schizophrenia and its animal modeling (hallucination, auditory-evoked potential, social withdrawal).

Currently we are addressing these questions employing all types of biological approaches including molecular genetic, biochemical, cell biological, electrophysiological, pharmacological, and behavioral tools and techniques. We hope these studies will lead to the understanding of how these bioactive factors control the onset and progression of developmental brain diseases such as schizophrenia, autism, which might hint at developing new drugs.

Prof. Hiroyuki NAWA
Assoc. Prof. Nobuyuki TAKEI
Assist. Prof. Hisaaki NAMBA
Assist. Prof. Yuriko IWAKURA
Specially Appointed Assist. Prof. Hidekazu SOTOYAMA
Specially Appointed Assist. Prof. Hiroyoshi INABA

Related Sites

  • Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences
  • School of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Niigata University
  • Niigata University