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RIKEN Center for Brain Science Laboratory for Molecular Dynamics of Mental Disorders

Laboratory Head: Tadafumi Kato (M.D., Ph.D.)

Research Summary

Tadafumi  Kato(M.D., Ph.D.)

The goal of this team is to elucidate the causes of bipolar disorder to develop new treatment and diagnostic methods. Elucidating the neurobiological basis of bipolar disorder will change clinical practice of depression and will lead to understanding molecular neurobiological basis of mood regulation. We are taking an approach to analyze animal models as well as clinical samples including cellular models and postmortem brains using advanced technologies of genomics or neuroscience. Currently we are also focusing on the roles of paraventricular thalamic nucleus in mood disorders.

Main Research Fields

  • Medicine, Dentistry & Pharmacy

Related Research Fields

  • Biological Sciences


  • bipolar disorder
  • depression
  • mitochondrial DNA
  • genomics
  • animal models

Selected Publications

  • 1.Takata, A.*, Matsumoto, N., Kato, T.*:
    "Genome-wide identification of splicing QTLs in the human brain and their enrichment among schizophrenia-associated loci."
    Nature Communications 8: 14519 (2017). (* Co-corresponding authors)
  • 2.Kasahara, T.#, Takata, A.#, Kato, T.M.#, Kubota-Sakashita, M., Sawada, T., Kakita, A., Mizukami, H., Kaneda, D., Ozawa, K., Kato, T.*:
    "Depression-like Episodes in Mice Harboring mtDNA Deletions in Paraventricular Thalamus."
    Molecular Psychiatry 21: 39-48 (2016). (# Co-first authors)
  • 3.Kataoka, M.#, Matoba, N.#, Sawada, T., Kazuno, A.A., Ishiwata, M., Fujii, K., Matsuo, K., Takata, A.*, Kato, T.*:
    "Exome sequencing for bipolar disorder points to roles of de novo loss-of-function and protein-altering mutations."
    Molecular Psychiatry 21: 885-893 (2016). (# Co-first authors)
  • 4.Hou, L., —— Kato, T. (112 of 123 authors), —— McMahon, F.J.*, Schulze, T.G.*:
    "Genetic variants associated with response to lithium treatment in bipolar disorder: a genome-wide association study."
    Lancet 38: 1085-1093 (2016).
  • 5.Bundo, M., Toyoshima, M., Okada, Y., Akamatsu, W., Ueda, J., Nemoto-Miyauchi, T., Sunaga, F., Toritsuka, M., Ikawa, D., Kakita, A., Kato, M., Kasai, K., Kishimoto, T., Nawa, H., Okano, H., Yoshikawa, T., Kato, T.*, Iwamoto, K.*:
    "Increased L1 retrotransposition in the neuronal genome in schizophrenia."
    Neuron, 81: 306-313 (2014). (* Co-corresponding authors)
  • 6.Iwamoto, K,*, Bundo, M., Ueda, J., Oldham, M.C., Ukai, W., Hashimoto, E., Saito, T., Geschwind, D.H., Kato, T.*:
    "Neurons show distinctive DNA methylation profile and higher interindividual variations compared with non-neurons."
    Genome Research 21: 688-696 (2011). (* Co-corresponding authors)
  • 7.Kasahara, T.*, Abe, K., Mekada, K., Yoshiki, A., Kato, T.* :
    "Genetic variation of melatonin productivity in laboratory mice under domestication."
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 107: 6412-6417 (2010). (* Co-corresponding authors)
  • 8.Kazuno, A., Munakata, K., Nagai, T., Shimozono, S., Tanaka, M., Yoneda, M., Kato, N., Miyawaki, A., Kato, T.*:
    "Identification of mitochondrial DNA polymorphisms that alter mitochondrial matrix pH and intracellular calcium dynamics."
    PLoS Genetics 2: e128 (2006).
  • 9.Iwamoto, K., Bundo, M., and Kato, T.*:
    "Altered expression of mitochondria-related genes in postmortem brains of patients with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, as revealed by large-scale DNA microarray analysis".
    Human Molecular Genetics, 14, 241-53 (2005).
  • 10.Kakiuchi, C., Iwamoto, K., Ishiwata, M., Bundo, M., Kasahara, T., Kusumi, I., Tsujita, T., Okazaki, Y., Nanko, S., Kunugi, H., Sasaki, T., and Kato, T.*:
    "Impaired feedback regulation of XBP1 as a genetic risk factor for bipolar disorder"
    Nature Genetics, 35, 171-175 (2003).

Recent Research Results

Related Links

Lab Members

Principal investigator

Tadafumi Kato
Laboratory Head

Core members

Takaoki Kasahara
Deputy Laboratory Head
Mie Sakashita
Research Specialist
Kazuo Nakajima
Research Scientist
Tomoyo Sawada
Research Scientist
Emilie Kristine Bagge
Research Scientist
Yasuyuki Shima
Senior Scientist
Takumi Nakamura
Junior Research Associate
Mizuho Ishiwata
Technical Staff I
Ana Kazuno
Technical Staff I
Noriko Fujimori
Technical Staff I
Junko Hayashi
Technical Staff I
Naoko Kume
Technical Staff II
Fukiko Isono
Technical Staff II
Naomi Sakai
Technical Staff II
Kazuyo Kuba

Contact Information

2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan
Email: tadafumi.kato [at] riken.jp