Modeling psychiatric disorders at the cellular and network levels

Mol Psychiatry. 2012 Dec;17(12):1239-53. doi: 10.1038/mp.2012.20. Epub 2012 Apr 3.


Although psychiatric disorders such as autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder affect a number of brain regions and produce a complex array of clinical symptoms, basic phenotypes likely exist at the level of single neurons and simple networks. Being highly heritable, it is hypothesized that these disorders are amenable to cell-based studies in vitro. Using induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons and/or induced neurons from fibroblasts, limitless numbers of live human neurons can now be generated from patients with a genetic background permissive to the disease state. We predict that cell-based studies will ultimately contribute to our understanding of the initiation, progression and treatment of these psychiatric disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fibroblasts / pathology
  • Fibroblasts / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / pathology
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Mental Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neural Pathways / physiopathology*
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Phenotype