In a joint research study with Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd. and Nagoya University, a research team at Keio University has successfully used iPS cells derived from patients with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia who have copy number variation (CNV) to show that abnormal neuron morphology is a common condition in both disorders. The Keio University research team was led by Professor Hideyuki Okano of the Keio University School of Medicine, Department of Physiology, and included joint researchers from the Department of Physiology. Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma team was led by Takaya Ishii of the iPS Cell-Based Drug Discovery, Drug Research Division. The Nagoya University team was led by Professor Norio Ozaki of the Department of Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
The aim of the research team was to elucidate the pathology of these psychiatric disorders and focus on the new CNVs thought to be involved in their onset. The research team first established a method for selectively and efficiently differentiating iPS cells taken from somatic cells of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia patients with different CNVs into two types of neurons (glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons). Analysis of these neurons revealed that, in both disorders, the length of dendrites decreases in both types of neurons, and the number of synapses, which transmit neural information, also decreases.
The results of this research show the successful use of patient-derived iPS cells to reproduce pathological conditions common to psychiatric disorders and are expected to lead to further clarification of psychiatric disorders and the development of therapeutic drug candidates. The results of this study were published on September 20, 2019 (EDT) in the online journal eNeuro.
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iPS Cell Research Discovers Common Pathologies in Psychiatric Disorders Elucidation of the Pathogenesis of Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia May Find Application in Therapeutic Drug Development