Izumi Maezawa, Ph.D. - IDDRC Investigator

Izumi Maezawa, Ph.D.

Assistant Adjunct Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UC Davis Medical Center
UC Davis MIND Institute
2825 50th Street, Room 1417
Sacramento, CA 95817 

Phone: 916-703-0392 / Fax: 916-703-0370

Areas of Interest

Rett syndrome, Neuroinflammation, Microglia Biology and Therapeutic Targets in Autism Spectrum Disorders


Dr. Maezawa has a strong interest in microglial biology. Her pioneer work on glial abnormalities in Rett syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder, provides a link between epigenetic regulation and glial function. Current projects in her laboratory are aimed at finding molecular targets on microglia for treatment of autism and Rett syndrome. She is co-inventor of several small molecule drug candidates for these disorders.

Current IDDRC Projects

  • Glutamine Transporters SNAT1 and SNAT2 in Rett Syndrome Microglia, CMBG/ R21 HD073631

Recent Representative Publications

Maezawa I, Swanberg S, Harvey D, LaSalle JM, Jin LW. (2009) Rett syndrome astrocytes are abnormal and spread the MeCP2 deficiency through gap junction. J Neurosci. 29:5051-5061. PMID: 19386901 *Editorial highlights in: Nat rev Neurosci. 10:396, 2009; Nat Med 15:620, 2009.

Maezawa I, Jin L-W. (2010) Rett syndrome microglia damage dendrites and synapses by the elevated release of glutamate. J Neurosci, 30:5346-5356. PMID: 20392956.

Maezawa I, Zimin P, Wulff H, Jin L-W. (2011) Aβ oligomer at low nanomolar concentrations activates microglia and induces microglial neurotoxicity. J Biol Chem, 286:3693-3706. PMCID: PMC3030372

Maezawa I, Calafiore M, Wulff H, Jin L-W. (2012) Does microglial dysfunction play a role in autism and Rett syndrome? Neuron Glia Biology, 7:85-97.

Yasui D, Xu H, Dunaway KW, LaSalle JM, Jin L-W, Maezawa I. (2013) MeCP2 modulates gene expression pathways in astrocytes. Mol Autism, 4:3. PMCID: PMC3561260.