Associate Professor

Tel: (901) 448-2662


  • PostDoc, National Institute of Health, Neural Development and Plasticity
  • Ph.D., Osaka University, Japan, Medical Science
  • M.S., Osaka University, Japan, Medical Science
  • B.S., Osaka University, Japan, Pharmacology

Research interest/specialty

Current projects focus on studying the roles of activity-dependent expression of BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor) in depression and anxiety, using genetically modified mice. We study from gene to behavior, using molecular and biochemical, electrophysiological, and behavioral techniques.


  1. Li, L, Ismael, S, Nasoohi, S, Sakata, K, Liao, FF, McDonald, MP, Ishrat, T. Thioredoxin-Interacting Protein (TXNIP) Associated NLRP3 Inflammasome Activation in Human Alzheimer's Disease Brain. J Alzheimers Dis, 2019.
  2. Dong, BE, Xue, Y, Sakata, K. The effect of enriched environment across ages: A study of anhedonia and BDNF gene induction. Genes Brain Behav, 17 (8), e12485, 2018.
  3. Wang, B, Liu, Y, Huang, L, Chen, J, Li, JJ, Wang, R, Kim, E, Chen, Y, Justicia, C, Sakata, K, Chen, H, Planas, A, Ostrom, RS, Li, W, Yang, G, McDonald, MP, Chen, R, Heck, DH, Liao, FF. Hsp90 inhibitor induces nuclear translocation of HSF1 predominantly in hippocampal CA1 region. Mol Psychiatry, 22 (7), 935, 2017.
  4. Kim, E, Sakata, K, Liao, FF. Bidirectional interplay of HSF1 degradation and UPR activation promotes tau hyperphosphorylation. PLoS Genet, 13 (7), e1006849, 2017.
  5. Sakata, K, Overacre, AE. Promoter IV-BDNF deficiency disturbs cholinergic gene expression of CHRNA5, CHRM2, and CHRM5: effects of drug and environmental treatments. J Neurochem, 2017.
  6. Wang, B, Liu, Y, Huang, L, Chen, J, Li, JJ, Wang, R, Kim, E, Chen, Y, Justicia, C, Sakata, K, Chen, H, Planas, A, Ostrom, RS, Li, W, Yang, G, McDonald, MP, Chen, R, Heck, DH, Liao, FF. A CNS-permeable Hsp90 inhibitor rescues synaptic dysfunction and memory loss in APP-overexpressing Alzheimer's mouse model via an HSF1-mediated mechanism. Mol Psychiatry, 2016.
  7. Jha, S, Dong, BE, Xue, Y, Delotterie, DF, Vail, MG, Sakata, K. Antidepressive and BDNF effects of enriched environment treatment across ages in mice lacking BDNF expression through promoter IV. Transl Psychiatry, 6 (9), e896, 2016.
  8. Chen, Y, Wang, B, Liu, D, Li, JJ, Xue, Y, Sakata, K, Zhu, LQ, Heldt, SA, Xu, H, Liao, FF. Hsp90 Chaperone Inhibitor 17-AAG Attenuates Aβ-Induced Synaptic Toxicity and Memory Impairment. J Neurosci, 34 (7), 2464-70, 2014.
  9. Sakata, K and Duke, SM.. Lack of BDNF expression through promoter IV disturbs expression of monoamine genes in the frontal cortex and hippocampus. Neuroscience, 28 (260), 260-75, 2014.
  10. Sakata, K.. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor for depression therapeutics. Austin Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 2 (1), 1-10, 2014.
  11. Sakata K., Martinowich K., Woo N.H., Schloesser R.J., Jimenez D.V., Ji Y., Shen L., Lu B.. Role of activity-dependent BDNF expression in hippocampal-prefrontal cortical regulation of behavioral perseverance. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A., 110 (37), 15103-1510, 2013.
  12. Sakata K, Mastin JR, Duke SM, Vail MG, Overacre AE, Dong BE, Jha S. Effects of antidepressant treatment on mice lacking BDNF expression through promoter IV. European J. of Neuroscience, 37 (11), 1863-74, 2013.
  13. Reiner A, Wang HB, Del Mar N, Sakata K, Yoo W, Deng YP.. BDNF may play a differential role in the protective effect of the mGluR2/3 agonist LY379268 on striatal projection neurons in R6/2 Huntington's disease mice.. Brain Res., 1473 (14), 161-72, 2012.
  14. Jiao, Y, Zhang, Z, Zhang, C, Wang, X, Sakata, K, Lu, B, Sun, QQ. A key mechanism underlying sensory experience-dependent maturation of neocortical GABAergic circuits in vivo. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 108 (29), 12131-6, 2011.
  15. Sakata K.. Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor and Major Depression. Neurobiology of Depression, Frontiers in Neuroscience Book Series, 391-417, 2011.
  16. Jha S., Dong B, Sakata K. Enriched environment treatment reverses depression-like behavior and restores reduced hippocampal neurogenesis and protein levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in mice lacking its expression through promoter IV. Translational Psychiatry. (1), e40, 2011.
  17. Sakata K, Jin L, Jha S.. Lack of promoter IV-driven BDNF transcription results in depression- like behavior.. Genes Brain Behav., 7 (9), 712-721, 2010.
  18. Sakata K, Woo NH, Martinowich K, Greene JS, Schloesser RJ, Shen L, Lu B.. Critical role of promoter IV-driven BDNF transcription in GABAergic transmission and synaptic plasticity in the prefrontal cortex.. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A., 106 (14), 5942-7, 2009.
  19. Shimazu K, Zhao M, Sakata K, Akbarian S, Bates B, Jaenisch R, Lu B. NT-3 facilitates hippocampal plasticity and learning and memory by regulating neurogenesis.. Epub, 3 (13), 307-315, 2006.
  20. Genoud C., Knott GW., Sakata K., Lu B., Welker E.. Altered synapse formation in the adult somatosensory cortex of brain-derived neurotrophic factor heterozygote mice.. J Neuroscience, (10) (24), 2394-400, 2004.
  21. Pang PT., Teng HK., Zaitsev E., Woo NT., Sakata K., Zhen S., Teng KK., Yung WH., Hempstead BL., Lu B.. Cleavage of proBDNF by tPA/plasmin is essential for long-term hippocampal plasticity.. Science, (5695) (306), 487-91, 2004.
  22. Zhou YX., Zhao M., Li D., Shimazu K., Sakata K., Deng CX., Lu B.. Cerebellar deficits and hyperactivity in mice lacking Smad4.. J Biol Chem., (43) (278), 42313-20, 2003.
  23. Sakata K. (corresponding author), Yamashita T., Maeda M., Y.Moriyama Y. and Tohyama M.. Cloning of a lymphatic peptide/histidine transporter.. Biochemical J. (356), 53-60, 2001.
  24. Mitsuda N., Ohkubo N., Tamatani M., Lee Y., Taniguchi M., Namikawa K., Kiyama H., Yamaguchi A., Sato N., Sakata K., Ogihara T., Vitek MP., Tohyama M.. Activated CREB Regulates Neuronal Expression of Presenilin-1.. J. Biol. Chem., (13) (276), 9688-98, 2001.
  25. Sakata K.*, Shimada S., Yamashita T., KInoue K. and Tohyama M.. Cloning of a bovine orphan transporter and its short splicing variant. PM. FEBS Lett. (443), 267-270, 1999.
  26. Sakata K., Sato K., Schloss P., Betz H., Shimada S. and Tohyama M.. Characterization of glycine release mediated by glycine transporter 1 stably expressed in HEK-293 cells.. Mol. Brain Res. (49), 89-94, 1997.
  27. Kitanaka J., Hashimoto H., Gotoh M., Kondo K., Sakata K., Hirasawa Y., Sawada M., Marunouti T., Matsuda T., Baba A.. Expression pattern of messenger RNAs for prostanoid receptors in glial cell cultures.. Brain Res. (707), 282-287, 1996.
  28. Kondo K., Hashimoto H., Sakata K., Saga H., Kitanaka J., Baba A.. Stimulation of cyclic AMP formation by adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide is attenuated by glutamate in rat brain slices.. (67), 399-401, 1995.