Yamamoto, Nobuhiko

Yamamoto, Nobuhiko

Institute of Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders

Visiting Principal Investigator


  • 2022 - Present

    Shenzhen Bay Laboratory         Visiting Principal Investigator

  • 2002 - 2022

    Grad School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University         Professor

  • 1994 - 2002

    Grad School of Engineering Science, Osaka University         Associate Professor

  • 1986 - 1994

    Kyoto Pref University Medicine         Assistant Prof and Lecture

  • 1982 - 1986

    Department of Biophysical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Science         Osaka University Awarded the degree of PhD in neurobiology for a thesis entitled "Studies of a neurite outgrowth-promoting factor from heart-cell conditioned medium"

  • 1980 - 1982

    Awarded Master's degree in neurobiology for a study of neuronal circuits in pupil reflex         

  • 1976 - 1980

    Faculty of Engineering Science, Osaka University         Awarded Bachelor's degree

Research Areas

Our lab investigates the regulatory mechanisms of neuronal activity-dependent gene expression, which are involved in neuronal circuit formation and remodeling, from the physiological, pathological and evolutional points of view, using in vitro and in vivo imaging, gene expression analyses, and cellular biological techniques such as our original slice culture method.


Dr Yamamoto obtained a PhD in Nakaakira Tsukahara lab of Osaka University by studying neurite outgrowth-promoting factor from heart cell conditioned medium. He then joined Keisuke Toyama lab in Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine. During the period, he pioneered new organotypic culture method (interface type) with semipermeable membranes (Yamamoto et al., Science, 1989) and demonstrated that specific neuronal connections are established in vitro (Yamamoto et al., Neuron, 1992). In 1994 he returned to Osaka University as associate professor, and in 2002 joined Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences in Osaka University as a full professor. His lab has been mainly interested in cellular and molecular mechanisms of neuronal wiring. They have shown the mechanisms underlying formation of lamina-specific cortical connections using the in vitro approaches (Yamamoto et al., J Neurosci, 1997; J Neurosci, 2000). They have also demonstrated the role of neuronal activity in cortical circuit formation (Uesaka et al, J Neurosci, 2005, 2007; Yamada et al., PNAS, 2010) and the molecular mechanisms underlying activity-dependent axon branching by using various techniques of cellular biology, electrophysiology and molecular biology (Ohnami et al., J Neurosci, 2008; Hayano et al., PNAS, 2014, Sasaki et al., Cereb Cortex, 2020). More recently, they have shown the influence of physiological stimulation on activity-dependent gene expression (Miyasaka and Yamamoto, Frontier Neurosci, 2021), the activity-dependent dynamics of a transcription factor in cortical neurons (Kitagawa et al., J Neurosci, 2017), the molecular mechanisms of lesion-induced axonal sprouting (Chang et al., J Neurosci, 2022), and the role of afferent-specific molecules in neocortical cytoarchitecture (Sato et al., eLife, 2022). 


• High-end Foreign Expert Admission Scheme (高端外国专家引进计划)

Selected Publications 

1. Yamamoto N, Kurotani T, Toyama K (1989) Neural connections between the lateral geniculate nucleus and visual cortex in vitro. Science 245:192-194

2. Yamamoto N, Yamada K, Kurotani T, Toyama K (1992) Laminar specificity of extrinsic cortical connections studied in coculture preparations. Neuron 9:217-228.

3. Yamamoto N, Higashi S, Toyama K (1997) Stop and Branch behaviors of geniculocortical axons: A time-lapse study in organotypic cocultures. J Neurosci 17:3653-3663.

4. Yamamoto N, Inui K, Matsuyama Y, Harada A, Hanamura K, Murakami F Ruthazer ES, Rutishauser U, Seki T (2000) Inhibitory mechanism by polysialic acid for lamina-specific branch formation of thalamocortical axons. J Neurosci 20:9145-9151.

5. Uesaka N, Hirai S, Maruyama T, Ruthazer E, Yamamoto N (2005) Activity-dependence of cortical axon branch formation: A morphological and electrophysiological study using organotypic slice cultures. J Neurosci 25:1-9.

6. Yamada A, Uesaka N, Hayano Y, Tabata, T, Kano M, Yamamoto N (2010) Role of pre- and postsynaptic activity in thalamocortical axon branching. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 107: 7562-7567.

7. Hayano Y, Sasaki K, Ohmura N, Takemoto M, Maeda Y, Yamashita T, Hata Y, Kitada K, Yamamoto N (2014) Netrin-4 regulates thalamocortical axon branching in an activity-dependent fashion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111:15226-15331.

8. Kitagawa H, Sugo N, Morimatsu M, Arai Y, Yanagida T, Yamamoto N (2017) Activity-dependent dynamics of the transcription factor CREB in cortical neurons revealed by single-molecule imaging. J Neurosci 37:1-10.

9. Chang L, Masada M, Kojima M, Yamamoto N (2022) Involvement of denervated midbrain-derived factors in the formation of ectopic cortico-mesencephalic project-tion after hemispherectomy. J Neurosci 42: 749-761.

10. Sato H, Hatakeyama J, Iwasato T, Arai K, Yamamoto N, Shimamura K (2022) Thalamocortical axons control the cytoarchitecture of neocortical layers by area-specific supply of VGF. eLife 11: e67549.