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  1. National Center for Toxicological Research

Noriko Nakamura Ph.D.

Noriko Nakamura

Staff Fellow — Division of Systems Biology

Dr. Noriko Nakamura
Noriko Nakamura, Ph.D.

(870) 543-7391

Back to NCTR Principal Investigator page

 About  |  Publications  |  Lab Member


Dr. Noriko Nakamura studied agriculture and physiology at the Department of Textiles Science, Kyoto Institute of Technology in Kyoto, Japan and graduated with a B.S. in 1997. She then attended the Graduate School of BioScience, Nara Institute of Science and Technology in Ikoma, Japan and earned an M.S. in molecular biology in 1999.  She attended the Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya University in Nagoya, Japan and earned a Ph.D. in cell biology in 2004 for work on the molecular mechanism of lipid droplet formation in cultured cells by identifying protein-protein interactions using yeast-two hybrid screening.

Dr. Nakamura trained in reproductive biology and toxicology as a postdoctoral fellow at the Gamate Biology Section in the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH in North Carolina from 2004 to 2009. She also trained as a research associate at Marshall University in West Virginia from 2009 to 2010. In 2010, Dr. Nakamura joined NCTR as a staff fellow.

Research Interests

While animals are currently used to assess male reproductive toxicology, in vitro models have recently been developed as possible alternatives. However, the spermatogenic process of stepwise differentiation from spermatogonia through spermatocytes and spermatids, to mature sperm occurring in seminiferous tubules in testes is complicated, and it has been difficult to find in vitro systems that recapitulate the entire process. Recently, a novel in vitro testis organ-culture system has been reported which produced spermatids and fertility-proven sperm from neonatal mouse testes beginning with only primitive spermatogonia. Dr. Nakamura’s research focuses on developing in vitro models for assessing drug/chemical toxicity for male reproductive toxicology (prostate and spermatogenesis) and to address in vitro spermatogenesis — she is investigating this novel in vitro testis organ-culture system. As there are no in vitro models for assessing the drug/chemical toxicity for the prostate, Dr. Nakamura is evaluating in vitro prostate models using a human prostate-cell line and identifying specific biomarker(s) for human prostate diseases. Her experimental approaches employ molecular biology, cellular biology, physiology, and histology. Dr. Nakamura will start a study using a microfluidic device system for improving an in vitro testis organ-culture system that recently has been reported by a Japanese research group. Her goal will be to develop in vitro models for male reproductive-toxicity tests using a microfluidic device system that will reduce the need for animal studies.

Professional Societies

American Society for Cell Biology
2001 – Present

Teratology Society
2015 – Present

Japanese Society of Toxicology
2018 – Present


Selected Publications

Evaluation of Culture Time and Media in an In Vitro Testis Organ Culture System.
Nakamura N., Merry G.E., Inselman A.L., Sloper D.T., DelValle P., Sato T., Ogawa T., and Hansen D.K.
Birth Defect Research. 2017, 109:465-474.

Effects of Maternal and Lactational Exposure to 2-Hydroxy-4-Methoxybenzone on Development and Reproductive Organs in Male and Female Rat Offspring.
Nakamura N., Inselman A.L., White G.A., Chang C.W., Trbojevich R.A., Sephr E., Voris K.L., Patton R.E., Bryant M.S., Harrouk W., McIntyre B.S., Foster P.M., and Hansen D.K.
Birth Defects Res B Dev Reprod Toxicol. 2015 Feb, 104(1):35-51.

Early Postnatal Exposure to a Low Dose of Decabromodiphenyl Ether Affects Expression of Androgen and Thyroid Hormone Receptor-Alpha and its Splicing Variants in Mouse Sertoli Cells.
Miyaso H., Nakamura N., Naito M., Hirai S., Matsuno Y., Itoh M., and Mori C.
PLoS One. 2014 Dec 5, 9(12):e114487.

Correlation Between Human Maternal-Fetal Placental Transfer and Molecular Weight of PCB and Dioxin Congeners/Isomers.
Mori C., Nakamura N., Todaka E., Fujisaki T., Matsuno Y., Nakaoka H., and Hanazato M.
Chemosphere. 2014 Nov, 114:262-7.

Disruption of a Spermatogenic Cell-Specific Mouse Enolase 4 (Eno4) Gene Causes Sperm Structural Defects and Male Infertility.
Nakamura N., Dai Q., Williams J., Goulding E.H., Willis W.D., Brown P.R., and Eddy E.M.
Biol Reprod. 2013 Apr 11, 88(4):90.

Postnatal Exposure to Low-Dose Decabromodiphenyl Ether Adversely Affects Mouse Testes by Increasing Thyrosine Phosphorylation Level of Cortactin.
Miyaso H., Nakamura N., Matsuno Y., Kawashiro Y., Komiyama M., and Mori C.
J Toxicol Sci. 2012, 37(5):987-99.

Ex3αERKO Male Infertility Phenotype Recapitulates the αERKO Phenotype.
Goulding E.H., Hewitt S.C., Nakamura N., Hamilton K., Korach K.S., and Eddy E.M.
J Endocrinol. 2010 Dec, 207(3):281-8.

Molecular Complex of Three Testis-Specific Isozymes Associated with the Mouse Sperm Fibrous Sheath: Hexokinase 1 (HK1S), Phosphofructokinase M (PFKMS), and Glutathione-S-Transferase, Mu Class, 5 (GSTM5).
Nakamura N., Mori C., and Eddy E.M.
Biol Reprod. 2010 Mar, 82(3):504-15.

Cleavage of Disulfide Bonds in Mouse Spermatogenic Cell-Specific Type 1 Hexokinase Isozyme is Associated with Increased Hexokinase Activity and Initiation of Sperm Motility.
Nakamura N., Miranda-Vizuete A., Miki K., Mori C., and Eddy E.M.
Biol Reprod. 2008 Sep; 79(3):537-45.

Spermatogenic Cell-Specific Type 1 Hexokinase is the Predominant Hexokinase in Sperm.
Nakamura N., Shibata H., O’Brien D.A., Mori C., and Eddy E.M.
Mol. Reprod. Dev. 75: 632-640, 2008.

Arf1-Dependent PLD1 is Localized to Oleic-Acid-Induced Lipid Droplets in NIH3T3 Cells.
Nakamura N., Banno Y., and Tamiya-Koizumi K.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Sep 16, 335(1):117-23.

ADRP is Dissociated from Lipid Droplets by ARF1-Dependent Mechanism.
Nakamura N., Akashi T., Taneda T., Kogo H., Kikuchi A., and Fujimoto T.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Sep 24, 322(3):957-65.

Adipose Differentiation-Related Protein Has Two Independent Domains for Targeting to Lipid Droplets.
Nakamura N. and Fujimoto T.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Jun 27, 306(2):333-8.

Sorting Specifity of Spermatogenic Cell Specific Region of Mouse Hexokinase-s (mHk1-s).
Nakamura N., Komiyama M., Fujioka M., and Mori C.
Mol Reprod Dev. 2003 Jan, 64(1):113-9.

Alteration of Programmed Cell Death and Gene Expression by 5-Bromodeoxyuridine During Limb Development in Mice.
Nakamura N., Fujioka M., and Mori C.
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2000 Sep 1, 167(2):100-6.



Lab Member

Daniel Sloper, M.S.
(870) 543-7391


Contact Information
Noriko Nakamura
(870) 543-7391