Dynamic Changes of the Mitochondria in Psychiatric Illnesses: New Mechanistic Insights From Human Neuronal Models

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Mitochondria play a crucial role in neuronal function, especially in energy production, the generation of reactive oxygen species, and calcium signaling. Multiple lines of evidence have suggested the possible involvement of mitochondrial deficits in major psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. This review will outline the current understanding of the physiological role of mitochondria and their dysfunction under pathological conditions, particularly in psychiatric disorders. The current knowledge about mitochondrial deficits in these disorders is somewhat limited because of the lack of effective methods to dissect dynamic changes in functional deficits that are directly associated with psychiatric conditions. Human neuronal cell model systems have been dramatically developed in recent years with the use of stem cell technology, and these systems may be key tools for overcoming this dilemma and improving our understanding of the dynamic changes in the mitochondrial deficits in patients with psychiatric disorders. We introduce recent discoveries from new experimental models and conclude the discussion by referring to future perspectives. We emphasize the significance of combining studies of human neuronal cell models with those of other experimental systems, including animal models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)751-760
Number of pages10
JournalBiological psychiatry
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2018


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Calcium dysregulation
  • Human neuronal cell models
  • Mitochondria
  • Oxidative stress
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry


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