Glia and Neuroinflammation

We study the pathology of brain disorders
and the mechanisms of acupuncture based on the gliocentric view.

Our new paper is published in Cell Reports!

Diaschisis after stroke through astrocytic GABA

Excessive Astrocytic GABA Causes Cortical Hypometabolism and Impedes Functional Recovery after Subcortical Stroke


Reactive astrocytes in brain disorders

We study the pathological roles of reactive astrocytes in various brain disorders.

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Glia-Immune interaction

We study the interaction between glia and meningeal immunity.

Korean Medicine

We study the molecular, cellular and circuitry neurobiology of acupuncture and herbal medicine based on the gliocentric view.

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Wake up dormant dopaminergic neurons to reverse Parkinson’s disease!

Astrocytic GABA identified as the novel therapeutic target of motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease



  1.  Nam MH*, Park JH*, Song HJ, Choi JW, Kim S, Jang BK, Yoon HH, Heo JY, Cho DW, Yang YS, Han SC, Kim SW, Oh SJ, Jeon SR, Park KD#, Lee CJ#, KDS2010, a newly developed reversible MAO-B inhibitor, as an effective therapeutic candidate for Parkinson’s disease, BioRxiv, 2020,
  2. Yoon HH*, Ye S*, Lim S*, Lee SE, Oh SJ, Jo A, Lee H, Kim NR, Kim K, Kim BJ, Lee CJ, Nam MH#, Hur JW#, Jeon SR#, CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing induces neurological recovery in an A53T-SNCA overexpression rat model of Parkinson's disease, BioRxiv, 2020, (#co-corresponding authors)
  3. Nam MH*, Ko HY*, Lee S*, Park YM, Hyeon SJ, Won W, Kim SY, Jo HH, Chung JI, Han YE, Lee GH, Ju Y, Stein TD, Kong M, Lee H, Lee SE, Oh SH, Chun JH, Park KD, Ryu H#, Yun M#, Lee CJ#, Visualization of reactive astrocytes in living brain of Alzheimer’s disease patient, BioRxiv, 2021,
  4. Ko HY*, Chung JI*, Kim D*, Park YM, Jo HH, Lee S, Kim SY, Kim J, Chun JH, Han KS, Lee M, Ju Y, Park SJ, Park KD, Nam MH, Kim SH, Chang JH#, Lee CJ#, Yun M#, Visualizing reactive astrogliosis extends survival in glioblastoma patients, BioRxiv, 2021,
  5. Kim H, Nam MH, Jeong S, Lee H, Oh SJ, Kim J, Choi N, Seong J#, Differential receptor crosstalk in DRD1-DRD2 heterodimer upon phasic and tonic dopamine signals, BioRxiv, 2021,


  1. Nam MH*, Won W*, Han KS, Lee CJ#, Signaling mechanisms of μ-opioid receptor (MOR) in the hippocampus: disinhibition versus astrocytic glutamate regulation, Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 2021;78(2):415-426.  DOI: 10.1007/s00018-020-03595-8
  2. An H, Heo JY#, Lee CJ#, Nam MHThe pathological role of astrocytic MAOB in Parkinsonism revealed by genetic ablation and over-expression of MAOB, Experimental Neurobiology, 2021;30(2):113-119. DOI: 10.5607/en21007 (#co-corresponding authors)
  3. Cho HU*, Kim S*, Shim J, Yang S, Nam MH#, Jang DP#, Lee CJ#, Redefining differential roles of MAO-A in dopamine degradation and MAO-B in tonic GABA synthesis, Experimental & Molecular Medicine, 2021, Accepted. (#co-corresponding authors)
  4. An H, Lee H, Yang S, Won W, Lee CJ#, Nam MH#, Adenovirus-induced reactive astrogliosis exacerbates the pathology of Parkinson's disease, Experimental Neurobiology, 2021, Online ahead of print. DOI: 10.5607/en21013 (#co-corresponding authors)
  5. An H, Koh W, Kang S, Nam MH#, Lee CJ#, Differential proximity of perisynaptic astrocytic Best1 at the excitatory and inhibitory tripartite synapses in APP/PS1 and MAOB-KO mice revealed by Lattice Structured-Illumination Microscope, Experimental Neurobiology, 2021, Online ahead of print. DOI: 10.5607/en21015 (#co-corresponding authors)


  1. Nam MH*Cho J*, Kwon DH, Park JY, Woo J, Lee J, Lee S, Ko HY, Won W, Kim RG, Song H, Oh SJ, Choi JW, Park KD, Park EK, Jung H, Kim HS, Lee MC, Yun M, Lee CJ#, Kim HI#, Excessive astrocytic GABA causes cortical hypometabolism and impedes functional recovery following subcortical stroke, Cell Reports, 2020, 32, 107861. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.107861
  2. Yoon HH*, Nam MH*, Choi I, Min J, Jeon SR#, Optogenetic inactivation of the entopeduncular nucleus improves forelimb akinesia in a Parkinson's disease model. Behavioural Brain Research, 2020, 10:112551. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2020.112551
  3. Heo JY*, Nam MH*, Yoon HH, Kim J, Hwang YJ, Won W, Woo DH, Lee JA, Park HJ, Jo S, Lee MJ, Kim S, Shim JE, Jang DP, Kim KI, Huh SH, Jeong JY, Kowall NW, Lee J, Im H, Park JH, Jang BK, Park KD, Lee HJ, Shin H, Cho IJ, Hwang EM, Kim Y, Kim HY, Oh SJ, Lee SE, Paek SH, Yoon JH, Jin BK, Kweon GR, Shim I, Hwang O, Ryu H#, Jeon SR#, Lee CJ#, Aberrant tonic inhibition of dopaminergic neuronal activity causes motor symptoms in animal models of Parkinson’s disease, Current Biology, 2020;30(2):276-291. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.11.079
  4. Pandit S, Neupane C, Woo J, Sharma R, Nam MH, Lee GS, Yi MH, Shin N, Kim DW, Cho H, Jeon BH, Kim HW, Lee CJ#, Park JB#, Bestrophin1-mediated tonic GABA release from reactive astrocytes prevents the development of seizure-prone network in kainate-injected hippocampi, Glia, 2020;68(5):1065-1080. DOI: 10.1002/glia.23762


  1. Nam MH*, Han KS*, Lee J*, Won WJ, Koh W, Bae JY, Woo J, Kim J, Kwong E, Choi TY, Chun H, Kim SB, Park KD, Choi SY, Bae YC#, Lee CJ#, Activation of astrocytic mu-opioid receptor causes conditioned place preference, Cell reports, 2019;28(5):1154-1166. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.06.071 
  2. Park JH*, Ju YH*, Choi JW, Song HJ, Jang BK, Woo J, Chun H, Kim HJ, Shin SJ, Yarishkin O, Jo S, Park M, Yeon SK, Kim S, Kim J, Nam MH, Londhe AM, Hwang SY, Kim SW, Cho J, Pae AN, Lee CJ#, Park KD#, Newly developed reversible MAO-B inhibitor circumvents the shortcomings of irreversible inhibitors in Alzheimer's disease. Science Advances, 2019;20:5(3):eaav0316. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aav0316


  1. Woo DH*, Bae JY*, Nam MH*, An H, Ju YH, Won J, Choi JH, Hwang E, Han KS, Bae YC#, Lee CJ#, Activation of Astrocytic m-opioid Receptor Elicits Fast Glutamate Release Through TREK-1-Containing K2P Channel in Hippocampal Astrocytes, Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 2018;12:319. DOI: 10.3389/fncel.2018.00319
  2. Nam MH*, Han KS*, Lee J, Bae JY, An H, Park S, Oh SJ, Kim E, Hwang E, Bae YC#, Lee CJ#, Expression of μ-Opioid Receptor in CA1 Hippocampal Astrocytes, Experimental Neurobiology, 2018;27:120-128. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.06.071 (F1000 Prime recommended) 


  1. Nam MH*, Park M*, Park H, Kim Y, Yoon S, Sawant VS, Choi JW, Park JH, Park KD, Min SJ, Lee CJ, Choo H, Indole-substituted benzothiazoles and benzoxazoles as selective and reversible MAO-B inhibitors for treatment of Parkinson’s disease, ACS Chemical Neuroscience, 2017 Mar 23, DOI: 10.1021/acschemneuro.7b00050


  1. Kim BI, Kim JH, Sim DY, Nam MH, Jung JH, Shim B, Lee J, Kim SH, Inhibition of JAK2/STAT3 and activation of caspase‑9/3 are involved in KYS05090S‑induced apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells. International Journal of Oncology, 2019;55(1):203-210.
  2. Paik SH*, Nam MH*, Lee BC#, Cucumis Melo L. alleviates obesity and insulin resistance in obese human subjects and high fat diet-induced obese mice, International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, 2018;11(6):5774-5783.
  3. Lee SW*, Nam MH*, Lee BC#, Herbal Acupuncture for Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review, Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, 2017, DOI: 10.3892/etm.2017.4379
  4. Kim JH, Kwon HY, Ryu DH, Nam MH, Shim BS, Kim JH, Lee JY, Kim SH#, Inhibition of CUG-binding protein 1 and activation of caspases are critically involved in piperazine derivative BK10007S induced apoptosis in hepatocellular carcinoma cells, Plos One, 2017;16;12(10):e0186490.
  5. Hong SH, Lee H, Lee HJ, Kim B, Nam MH, Shim BS, Kim SH#, Ethanol Extract of Pinus koraiensis Leaf Ameliorates Alcoholic Fatty Liver via the Activation of LKB1-AMPK Signaling In Vitro and In Vivo., Phytotherapy Research, 2017 Mar 16. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5801.
  6. Nam MH, Jung SJ, Lim J#, Seo E, Lim J, Lee SJ, Yoon SZ, Soh KS#, A novel fibrous duct structure in the brain meninges discovered using polarized light microscopy, Journal of Korean Physical Society, 2016;68(10):1246-53.
  7. Nam MH*, Lee SW*, Na HY, Yoo JH, Paik SH, Ahn KS, Ahn YM, Ahn SY, Choi SH, Lee BC#, Herbal Acupuncture for the Treatment of Obesity, Journal of Acupuncture & Meridian Studies, 2016, 9(2):49-57.
  8. Nam MH, Ahn KS, Choi SH#. Acupuncture: A potent tool for inducing adult neurogenesis, Neural Regeneration Research, 2015;10(1):33-35.
  9. Kim J#, Stefanov M, Nam MH, Kim S, Tracing Mercox Injected at Acupuncture Points under the Protocol of Partial Body Macerations in Mice, Journal of Acupuncture & Meridian Studies, 2015;8(6):314-20.
  10. Nam MH*, Baek M*, Lim J, Lee S, Yoon J, Kim J, Lee MS, Soh KS#. Discovery of a novel fibrous tissue in the spinal pia mater by polarized light microscopy, Connective Tissue Research, 2014;55(2):147–155.
  11. Nam MH, Ahn KS, Choi SH#. Acupuncture stimulation induces neurogenesis in adult brain, International Review of Neurobiology, 2013;111:67-90.
  12. Stefanov M#, Potroz M, Kim J, Lim J, Cha R, Nam MH. The Primo Vascular System as a New Anatomical System, Journal of Acupuncture & Meridian Studies, 2013;6(6):331-338.
  13. SJ Jung, KH Bae, Nam MH, HM Kwon, YK Song, KS Soh#, Primo Vascular System Floating in Lymph Ducts of Rats, Journal of Acupuncture & Meridian Studies, 2013;6(6):306-318. (Featured article)
  14. Lee SH, Bae KH, Kim GO, Nam MH, Choi YB, Kwon HM, Ryu Y, Soh KS#. Primo vascular system in the lymph vessel from the inguinal to the axillary nodes, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2013, Article ID 472704, 6 pages, 2013. doi:10.1155/2013/472704.
  15. Bae KH, Park SH, Lee BC, Nam MH, Yoon JW, Kwon HM, Yoon SZ#. Novel threadlike structures may be present on the large animal organ surface: evidence in swine model, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2013, Article ID 758763, 5 pages, 2013. doi:10.1155/2013/758763.
  16. Stefanov M#, Kim JD, Nam MH, Soh KS. New approach of corrosion casting using direct injection of mercox into the parenchyma of different organs, The Anatomical Record, 2013;296:724–725.
  17. Nam MH, Lim J, Choi SH, Kim SC, Soh KS#. A primo vascular system underneath the superior sagittal sinus in the brain of a rabbit, Journal of Acupuncture & Meridian Studies, 2012;5(5):210-217.
  18. Nam MH, Choi SH, Soh KS#. Light and primo vascular system in the brain, Journal of the Korean Physical Society, 2012;60(6):903-906.
  19. Nam MH, Yin CS, Choi SH, Soh KS#. Adult neurogenesis and acupuncture stimulation at ST36, Journal of Acupuncture & Meridian Studies, 2011;4(3):153-158.
  20. Nam MH, Kim Y, Kim H, Park J, Yeh HY, Lee YS, Lee S, Jung WM, Hong YK, Lee H, Park HJ, Chae Y#, A Comparison Study of Factors of Willingness to Use Traditional Medicine between Korean, Chinese and Taiwanese, J Korean Oriental Med 2011;32(1):36-55.
  21. Kim SY, Kim H, Nam MH, Li Y, Chung HC, Park HJ, Lee H, Chae Y#, Evaluation of a Traditional Korean Medicine Content Factor and Satisfaction with the Drama ‘Daejanggeum’, The Journal of Korean Acupuncture & Moxibustion Society, 2010;27(1):11-20.

Lab people

Min-Ho Nam, KMD, PhD

Principal Investigator

Senior Research Scientist at Brain Science Institute, Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) // Adjunct professor at Department of KHU-KIST Convergence Science and Technology, Kyung Hee University

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Hyowon Lee, MSc

PhD Student

He received his master degree from Dongguk University and studied plant genetics. He worked as a research intern in a neuroscience lab at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Currently, he is studying neuroscience in Nam lab at KIST as a PhD student.

Seulkee Yang, MSc

PhD student

I am a biologist, who is passionate about electrophysiology. I received my BSc in Biology and a MSc in Neuro- and bahavioral Biology from Free University of Berlin, Germany. At Nam lab, I am dissecting the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease with strong emphasis on astrocyte using a wide range of methods including electrophysiology and optogenetics.

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Juneyeon Kim

Research Intern

He is studying life science at University of Seoul. As an undergraduate research intern, he is learning basic experimental techniques for neuroscience and searching for his field of interest.

Joo-Yeon Park

Research intern

DOB 2020-05-01 ․ ․ ․ ․ ․DOW 2020-10-31 (for starting her master's degree in other field)

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Sangyong Lee

Research Intern

DOB 2020-12-28 ․ ․ ․ ․ ․DOW 2021-02-26 (for returning to his undergraduate course)

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The NAM Lab employs a multi-disciplinary approach including optogenetic (chemogenetic), ex vivo electrophysiological, pharmacological and imaging techniques to find mechanistic explanations for how reactive astrocytes contribute to brain pathophysiology and/or how acupuncture works through neuro- and glio-modulation.

 Graduate students

The NAM Lab always welcomes highly self-motivated students to discover their talents! Please e-mail me ( and we can make a time to meet.


The NAM Lab always welcomes highly self-motivated Ph.D.s to build up interesting stories of glia and neuroinflammation! Please e-mail me ( with your CV (and a cover letter which includes what you have done in the past and what you want to get from the NAM lab).


  •  2021. 6. 19 13:16

An H, Koh W, Kang S, Nam MH#, Lee CJ#, Differential proximity of perisynaptic astrocytic Best1 at the excitatory and inhibitory tripartite synapses in APP/PS1 and MAOB-KO mice revealed by Lattice Structured-Illumination Microscope, Experimental Neurobiology, 2021, Online ahead of print. (#co-corresponding authors)

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  •  2021. 5. 24 16:23

Oh JY*, Lee H*, Jang S, Yang S, Nam MH#, Park HJ#, Discrete MCH neuronal projections regulate anti-parkinsonian effect of acupuncture

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  •  2021. 5. 23 16:21

An H, Lee H, Yang S, Won W, Lee CJ#, Nam MH#, Adenovirus-induced reactive astrogliosis exacerbates the pathology of Parkinson's disease, Experimental Neurobiology, Accepted.

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  •  2021. 5. 12 17:25

Cho HU*, Kim S*, Sim J, Yang S, Nam MH#, Jang DP#, Lee CJ#, Redefining differential roles of MAO-A in dopamine degradation and MAO-B in tonic GABA synthesis, EMM, accepted

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  •  2021. 5. 12 17:22

An H, Heo JY, Lee CJ, Nam MH., The Pathological Role of Astrocytic MAOB in Parkinsonism Revealed by Genetic Ablation and Over-expression of MAOB. Exp Neurobiol. 2021;30(2):113-119. doi: 10.5607/en21007.

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  •  2021. 3. 11 21:38

Our recent paper "Expression of mu-opioid receptor in CA1 hippocampal astrocytes" is recommended by Faculty Opinions (previously F1000 prime). Dr. Emmanuel Darcq recommended this article owing to our new finding of the presence of MOR in astrocytes of the hippocampus using MOR-mCherry mice.

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  •  2021. 2. 26 10:24

As the 2020-2021 winter internship is terminated, Sangyong has left our lab. Sangyong contributed to many parts of our lab works! We appreciate his contribution. We hope that Sangyong do a great job during his remaining undergraduate course.

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  •  2020. 12. 28 09:00

Two undergraduate students joined our lab as research interns for this winter vacation. Juneyeon and Sangyong, welcome!

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  •  2020. 10. 31 21:00

She is going to start her master's degree in the field of food science. We thank for her contributions to our lab. We do believe that she will do a great job in her new place!

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  •  2020. 9. 14 09:00


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  •  2020. 9. 2 09:00


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