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Kitamoto Laboratory

Toshihiro Kitamoto

Toshihiro Kitamoto, PhD
Associate Professor

Research Interests

Using a versatile experimental model organism, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, we investigate the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying gene-gene and gene-environment interactions that have a significant impact on physiological and pathological behaviors, including:

  • The effect of diets on seizure-like phenotypes displayed by voltage-gated sodium channel mutants
  • Genetic and environmental suppressors that reduce the severity of genetically inherited neurological defects
  • The role of unconventional “non-genomic” steroid signaling in behavioral responses to stressful stimuli
  • The anticonvulsant and sedative effects of propofol and propofol analogs in fly models of human epilepsy


  • Shimada, N., Inami, S., Sato, S., Kitamoto, T., Sakai, T. (2016). Modulation of light-driven arousal by LIM-homeodomain transcription factor Apterous in large PDF-positive lateral neurons of the Drosophila brain. Sci Rep 6:37255. [PubMed] 
  • Kaas, G., Kasuya, J., Lansdon, P., Ueda, A., Iyengar, A., Wu, C-F., Kitamoto, T. (2016). Lithium-responsive seizure-like hyperexcitability is caused by a mutation in the Drosophila voltage-gated sodium channel gene paralytic. eNeuro 3(5). [PubMed] 
  • Petruccelli, E., Li, Q., Rao, Y., Kitamoto, T. (2016). The unique dopamine/ecdysteroid receptor DopEcR modulates ethanol-induced sedation in Drosophila. J Neurosci 36(16):4647-4657. [PubMed] 
  • Ishimoto, H., Wang, Z., Rao, Y., Wu, C-F., Kitamoto, T. (2013). A novel role for ecdysone in Drosophila conditioned behavior: linking GPCR-mediated non-canonical steroid action to cAMP signaling in the adult brain. PLOS Genet 9(10):e1003843. [PubMed]