Schizophrenia has been defined as a neurodevelopmental disease that causes changes in the process of thoughts, perceptions and emotions, usually leading to a mental deterioration and affective blunting. Most of the knowledge about this mental disorder has been acquired from post-mortem brain analyses, from non-neural human cells or with animal models. Since induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are genetically identical to donor and capable of generating all cell types of an individual, including neurons, they have become an attractive model for the study of the human brain. Understanding the role of oxygen metabolism, both in the ill brain as well as throughout development, is of critical importance to elucidate pathophysiological mechanisms in psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. Our recent data provide evidence of metabolic changes, such as increased ROS levels and oxygen consumption, occurring during neurogenesis of iPS cells derived from schizophrenic patients when compared to controls. The use of iPS cells to study schizophrenia may provide a better understanding of the development of the disease, highlighting potential targets for treatment and drug screening.
Publications in mental disorders and iPS cells