Despite extensive genetic and neuroimaging studies, detailed cellular mechanisms underlying schizophrenia and bipolar disorder remain poorly understood. Recent progress in single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) technologies enables identification of cell-type-specific pathophysiology. However, its application to psychiatric disorders is challenging because of methodological difficulties in analyzing human brains and the confounds due to a lifetime of illness. Brain organoids derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) of the patients are a powerful avenue to investigate the pathophysiological processes. Here, we generated iPSC-derived cerebral organoids from monozygotic twins discordant for psychosis. scRNA-seq analysis of the organoids revealed enhanced GABAergic specification and reduced cell proliferation following diminished Wnt signaling in the patient, which was confirmed in iPSC-derived forebrain neuronal cells. Two additional monozygotic twin pairs discordant for schizophrenia also confirmed the excess GABAergic specification of the patients’ neural progenitor cells. With a well-controlled genetic background, our data suggest that unbalanced specification of excitatory and inhibitory neurons during cortical development underlies psychoses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Psychiatry and Mental health