Patient iPSC-astrocytes show transcriptional and functional dysregulation in schizophrenia
Ying Chieh Wu,
Pekka L.J. Virtanen,
Tyrone D. Cannon,
Posted 23 Oct 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.10.23.350413
Posted 23 Oct 2020
Human astrocytes are multifunctional brain cells and may contribute to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia (SCZ). We differentiated astrocytes from induced pluripotent stem cells of monozygotic twins discordant for SCZ, and found sex-specific gene expression and signaling pathway alterations related particularly to inflammation and synaptic functions. While Ingenuity Pathway Analysis identified SCZ disease and synaptic transmission pathway changes in SCZ astrocytes, the most consistent findings were related to collagen and cell adhesion associated pathways. Neuronal responses to glutamate and GABA differed between astrocytes from control persons, affected twins, and their unaffected co-twins, and were normalized by clozapine treatment. SCZ astrocyte cell transplantation to the mouse forebrain caused gene expression changes in demyelination, synaptic dysfunction and inflammation pathways of mouse brain cells and resulted in behavioral changes in cognitive and olfactory functions. Altogether, our results show that astrocytes contribute to both familial risk and clinical manifestation of SCZ in a sex-specific manner. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
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