Laboratory of Pathology

MT_Byori_1 Tetsuya Takakuwa, MD, PhD, Professorbtn

Many people – some scientists, others not – are interested in early human development because it is closely
related to the basic and important question: What are we and where have we come from? In our laboratory, morphogenesis during human embryonic and early-fetal period has been analysed using digitized datasets include high-resolution MRI, phase-contrast X-ray CT, and digitized histological serial sections obtained from the Kyoto Collection to reveal normal development as well as to elucidate the causes and pathogenesis of birth defects and to attempt to identify some preventive measures.

Research and Education

Human embryonic and early-fetal period has been analyzed three-dimensionally using digitized datasets. The digital data have gross merits that enabled us to develop various analyses, which accelerate the speed of morphological observations using precise and improve methods by providing a suitable plane for a morphometric analysis from many specimens. Morphometric data are useful for quantitatively evaluating and demonstrating the features of development and for screening abnormal samples, which may be suggestive in the pathogenesis of congenital malformations. The 3D coordinates of anatomical landmarks is provided for analyzing the positional change of interested landmarks and their relationships, and for mathematical analysis as well as statistical analysis such as Procrustes analysis and principle component analysis. Our 3D analysis may serve to provide accurate morphologic data, including the dynamics of embryonic structures related to developmental stages, which is required for insights into the dynamic and complex processes occurring during organogenesis. Our study could aid in differentiating normal and abnormal development, which may lead to prenatal diagnosis in the embryonic and early fetal period.





  • Nagata A, Hatta S, Ji X, Ishikawa A, Sakamoto R, Yamada S, Imai H, Matsuda T, Takakuwa T. Return of the intestinal loop to the abdominal coelom after physiological umbilical herniation in the early fetal period. J Anat, 2019, 234, 456-464.doi: 10.1111/joa.12940.
  • Ishiyama H, Ishikawa A, Kitazawa H, Fujii S, Matsubayashi J, Yamada S, Takakuwa T, Branching morphogenesis of the urinary collecting system in the human embryonic metanephros, PLoS ONE 13(9): e0203623. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0203623
  • Takakuwa T, 3D analysis of human embryos and fetuses using digitized datasets from the Kyoto Collection, Anat Rec 2018, 301,960-969 doi: 10.1002/ar.23784
  • Kobayashi A, Ishizu K, Yamada S, Uwabe C, Kose K, Takakuwa T, Morphometric human embryonic brain features according to developmental stage, Prenatal Diagnosis, 36:338–345, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/pd.4818, DOI: 10.1002/pd.4786.
  • Shiraishi N, Katayama A, Nakashima T, Yamada S, Uwabe C, Kose K, Takakuwa T, Morphology and morphometry of the human embryonic brain: A three-dimensional analysis, NeuroImage, 2015, 115, 96-103, 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.04.044,


Professor: Tetsuya Takakuwa MD, PhD

Human Health Science, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University
606-8507 Sakyo-ku Shogoin Kawahara-cyo 53, Kyoto, Japan
TEL 075-751-3931/3956