Yasushi Nakagawa, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience

E-MAIL: nakagawa@umn.edu

Research Interests:

In our laboratory, we are interested in how early events in brain development such as patterning of the neural tube and cell type specification eventually lead to the formation of specific neuronal connectivity and development of animal behavior. We are particularly interested in the thalamus and brain regions that are connected to the thalamus, including the neocortex. We extensively use mouse genetics and in vivo gene delivery to study: 1) how multiple thalamic nuclei are formed and 2) how the thalamus development influences the formation of mature areas in the neocortex.


Selected Publications:

(For a comprehensive list of recent publications, refer to PubMed, a service provided by the National Library of Medicine.)

  • Wong SZH, Scott EP, Mu W, Guo X, Borgenheimer E, Freeman M, Ming GL, Wu QF, Song H, Nakagawa Y. In vivo clonal analysis reveals spatiotemporal regulation of thalamic nucleogenesis. PLoS Biol. 2018 Apr 23;16(4):e2005211.
  • De Clercq S, Keruzore M, Desmaris E, Pollart C, Assimacopoulos S, Preillon J, Ascenzo S, Matson CK, Lee M, Nan X, Li M, Nakagawa Y, Hochepied T, Zarkower D, Grove EA, Bellefroid EJ. DMRT5 together with DMRT3 directly controls hippocampus development and neocortical area map formation. Cereb Cortex. 2018;28(2):493-509.
  • Zechel S, Nakagawa Y, Ibáñez CF. Thalamo-cortical axons regulate the radial dispersion of neocortical GABAergic interneurons. Elife. 2016 Dec 9;5. pii: e20770.
  • Sokolowski K, Tran T, Esumi S, Kamal Y, Oboti L, Lischinsky J, Goodrich M, Lam A, Carter M, Nakagawa Y, Corbin JG. Molecular and behavioral profiling of Dbx1-derived neurons in the arcuate, lateral and ventromedial hypothalamic nuclei. Neural Dev. 2016 May 21;11(1):12.
  • Vue TY, Lee M, Tan YE, Werkhoven Z, Wang L, Nakagawa Y. Thalamic control of neocortical area formation in mice. J Neurosci. 2013;33(19):8442-53.
  • Bluske KK, Vue TY, Kawakami Y, Taketo MM, Yoshikawa K, Johnson JE, Nakagawa Y. β-Catenin signaling specifies progenitor cell identity in parallel with Shh signaling in the developing mammalian thalamus. Development. 2012;139:2692-2702.
  • Nakagawa Y, Shimogori T. Diversity of thalamic progenitor cells and postmitotic neurons. Eur J Neurosci. 2012;35(10):1554-62.
  • Lulich JP, Osborne CA, Carvalho M, Nakagawa Y. Effects of a urolith prevention diet on urine compositions of glycosaminoglycans, Tamm-Horsfall glycoprotein, and nephrocalcin in cats with calcium oxalate urolithiasis. Am J Vet Res. 2012;73(3):447-51.
  • Saulnier A1, Keruzore M, De Clercq S, Bar I, Moers V, Magnani D, Walcher T, Filippis C, Kricha S, Parlier D, Viviani L, Matson CK, Nakagawa Y, Theil T, Götz M, Mallamaci A, Marine JC, Zarkower D, Bellefroid EJ. The doublesex homolog Dmrt5 is required for the development of the caudomedial cerebral cortex in mammals. Cereb Cortex. 2013;23(11):2552-2567.
  • Wang L, Bluske KK, Dickel LK, Nakagawa Y. Basal progenitor cells in the embryonic mouse thalamus - their molecular characterization and the role of neurogenins and Pax6. Neural Dev. 2011 Nov 11;6:35.
  • Kawakami Y, Marti M, Kawakami H, Itou J, Quach T, Johnson A, Sahara S, O'Leary DD, Nakagawa Y, Lewandoski M, Pfaff S, Evans SM, Izpisua Belmonte JC. Islet1-mediated activation of the β-catenin pathway is necessary for hindlimb initiation in mice. Development 2011;138: 4465-4473
  • Aaker JD, Patineau AL, Yang HJ, Ewart DT, Nakagawa Y, McLoon SC, Koyano-Nakagawa N. Interaction of MTG family proteins with NEUROG2 and ASCL1 in the developing nervous system. Neurosci. Lett. 2010;474:46-51
  • Davidson S, Truong H, Nakagawa Y, Giesler GJ. Jr. A microinjection technique for targeting regions of embryonic and neonatal mouse brain in vivo. Brain Res. 2010;1307:43-52 

Current Graduate Students:

Timothy Monko (Neuroscience, University of Minnesota)

Former Graduate Students:

Krista Bluske (Ph.D. 2012, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota)

Tou Yia Vue (Ph.D. 2010, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota)

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