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Schizophrenia Research Forum: Researcher Profile - Kazu Nakazawa
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Researcher Profile - Kazu Nakazawa

First Name:Kazu
Last Name:Nakazawa
Affiliation:University of Alabama at Birmingham
Department:Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience
Street Address 1:1825 University Boulevard
Street Address 2:Shelby Building 1105
Zip/Postal Code:35294-2182
Email Address:
(view policy) 
Member reports no financial or other potential conflicts of interest. [Last Modified: 24 October 2013]
View all comments by Kazu Nakazawa
Clinical Interests:
Neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., 22q11 deletion syndromes), Autism spectrum disorders (pervasive developmental disorders), Psychology, Bipolar disorder , Schizophrenia, Depression
Research Focus:
Animal models, Molecular and Cell biology, GABAergic transmission, Genetics, Glutamatergic transmission, Cell biology, Neuroanatomy/Systems Neuroscience, Neurodevelopment, Neuropathology, Neurotransmission, Pharmacology
Work Sector(s):
Web Sites:
Reasearcher Bio
While the etiology of schizophrenia remains elusive, hypofunction of glutamatergic NMDA receptors (NMDAR) is a prime hypothesis. This hypothesis is based mainly on the psychotomimetic action of NMDAR antagonists in healthy subjects. However, when and in which cell-types NMDAR hypofunction takes place, as well as the down-stream effects of this hypofunction are largely unknown. In my laboratory, we employ a multi-disciplinary approach, including immunocytochemistry, slice physiology, in vivo physiology (multi-electrode recording and in vivo microdialysis) and mouse behavioral testing. My recent work has involved the generation of a novel Cre mouse line that allows for selective postnatal genetic manipulations of cortical GABAergic interneurons. Using this Cre line, a transgenic mouse line lacking GluN1 (NR1), an indispensable subunit of NMDARs, in cortical and hippocampal interneurons have provided the first strong evidence that NMDAR hypofunction occurs in cortical GABAergic interneurons during early postnatal development (Nature Neuroscience, 2010).
Top Papers
Jiang Z, Cowell RM and Nakazawa K (2013) Convergence of genetic and environmental factors on parvalbumin-positive interneurons in schizophrenia. Front. Behav. Neurosci. 7:116. doi:10.3389/fnbeh.2013.00116 24027504

Brigman, J.L., Graybeal, C., Wright, T., Davis, M., Daut, R., Jiang, Z., Jinde, S., Saksida, L., Pease, M., Bussey, T.J., Lovinger, D.M., Nakazawa, K., and Holmes, A. (2013) GluN2B in corticostriatal circuits governs choice learning and shifting. Nat Neurosci 16, 1101-1110. 23831965

Rompala, G.R., Zsiros, V., Zhang, S., Kolata, S.M., and Nakazawa, K. (2013) Contribution of GluN1 Deletion in Prefrontal and Cortical Sensory Excitatory Cells to Schizophrenia-like Phenotypes. PLOS ONE 8, e61278. 23613827

Jinde, S., Zsiros, V, and Nakazawa, K. (2013) Hilar mossy cell circuitry controlling dentate granule cell excitability. Front. Neural Circuits 7:14. doi: 10.3389/fncir.2013.00014 23407806

Jiang, Z., Rompala, G.R., Zhang, S., Cowell, R.M., and Nakazawa, K. (2013) Social Isolation Exacerbates Schizophrenia-like Phenotypes via Oxidative Stress in Cortical Interneurons. Biol Psychiatry 73, 2014-1034. 23348010

Jinde, S., Zsiros, V., Jiang, Z., Nakao, K., Kohno, K., Belforte, J.E., and Nakazawa, K. (2012) Hilar Mossy Cell Degeneration Causes Transient Dentate Granule Cell Hyperexcitability and Impaired Pattern Separation. Neuron 76, 1189-1200. 23259953

Malkesman, O., Austin, D.R., Tragon, T., Wang, G., Rompala, G., Hamidi, H.B., Cui, Z., Young, W.S., Nakazawa, K., Zarate, C.A., Manji, H.K., and Chen, G. (2012) Acute D-serine treatment produces antidepressant-like effects in rodent models of depression. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 15, 1135-1148. 21906419

Nakazawa, K., Zsiros, V., Jiang, Z., Nakao, K., Kolata, S., Zhang, S., and Belforte, J.E. (2012) GABAergic interneuron origin of schizophrenia pathophysiology. Neuropharmacology 62, 1574-1583. 21277876

Christian, K.M. Miracle, A.D., Wellman, C.L., and Nakazawa, K. (2011) Chronic stress-induced hippocampal dendritic retraction requires CA3 NMDA receptors. Neuroscience 174, 26-36. 21108993
Jiang, Z., Belforte, J.E., Lu, Y., Yabe, Y., Pickel, J., Smith, C.B., Je, H.-S., Lu, B., and Nakazawa K. (2010) eIF2alpha phosphorylation-dependent translation in CA1 pyramidal cells impairs hippocampal memory consolidation without affecting general protein synthesis J. Neurosci. 30, 2582-2594. 20164343

Jiang, Z., Belforte, J.E., Lu, Y., Yabe, Y., Pickel, J., Smith, C.B., Je, H.-S., Lu, B., and Nakazawa K. (2010) eIF2alpha phosphorylation-dependent translation in CA1 pyramidal cells impairs hippocampal memory consolidation without affecting general protein synthesis J. Neurosci. 30, 2582-2594. 20164343

Belforte, J.E., Zsiros, V., Sklar, E.R., Jiang, Z., Yu, G., Li, Y., Quinlan, E.M., and Nakazawa, K. (2010) Postnatal NMDA Receptor Ablation in Corticolimbic Interneurons Confers Schizophrenia-like Phenotypes. Nat. Neurosci. 13, 76-83. Epub 2009 Nov 15 (associated with a featured preview article in the January 2010 issue). 19915563

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