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Nakamura, Kazuhiro

Visiting Fellows

Profile

Prof. Kazuhiro Nakamura is a physiologist who has revealed the brain neural circuits for body temperature regulation and fever. By combining in vivo physiological, electrophysiological, neuroanatomical, and molecular biological techniques, Prof. Nakamura and colleagues have discovered the afferent neural pathways transmitting thermosensory signals from the skin to the thermoregulatory center in the hypothalamus, and also the efferent neural pathways transmitting command signals from the thermoregulatory center to peripheral effector organs including brown adipose tissue (for metabolic heat production), skeletal muscles (for shivering heat production), and skin blood vessels (for controlling heat loss). The neural circuitry identified by Prof. Nakamura is central to thermal homeostasis in mammals including rodents and humans as well as to host defense due to its principal role in fever development. In light of the large contribution of heat production to whole body metabolism, Prof. Nakamura’s discoveries on the fundamental neural circuitry for thermoregulation are also closely relevant to understandings of regulation of metabolism and etiology of obesity, and his laboratory has recently discovered a fundamental brain circuit mechanism for mammals to survive starvation. Furthermore, Prof. Nakamura is now studying on how emotion and psychological stress affect the central system for body temperature regulation and other homeostatic functions, and has published some key findings on the brain circuit mechanisms that connect the central “emotional” system and hypothalamic “vital” system. In recognition of these outstanding research accomplishments, Prof. Nakamura was awarded major prizes and awards, such as the Japan Academy Medal Prize in 2014 and American Physiological Society’s Henry Pickering Bowditch Lectureship in 2014, which is regarded as one of the society’s highest honors. Prof. Nakamura’s research pursuing fundamental circuit mechanisms of brain functions is expected to make major contributions to our knowledge on the central mechanisms for homeostasis, emotion and life.

From: Nov 04, 2019 To: Dec 03, 2019

Structure Department of Integrative Physiology (Professor)

Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine

Japan

Unibo reference

Prof. Domenico Tupone

Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche e Neuromotorie