Using Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells to Investigate Complex Genetic Psychiatric Disorders

Stephanie J. Temme, Brady J. Maher, Kimberly M. Christian

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can be generated from human patient tissue samples, differentiated into any somatic cell type, and studied under controlled culture conditions. We review how iPSCs are used to investigate genetic factors and biological mechanisms underlying psychiatric disorders, and considerations for synthesizing data across studies. Recent Findings: Results from patient specific-iPSC studies often reveal cellular phenotypes consistent with postmortem and brain imaging studies. Unpredicted findings illustrate the power of iPSCs as a discovery tool, but may also be attributable to limitations in modeling dynamic neural networks or difficulty in identifying the most affected neural subtype or developmental stage. Summary: Technological advances in differentiation protocols and organoid generation will enhance our ability to model the salient pathology underlying psychiatric disorders using iPSCs. The field will also benefit from context-driven interpretations of iPSC studies that recognize all potential sources of variability, including differences in patient symptomatology, genetic risk factors, and affected cellular subtype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-284
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Behavioral Neuroscience Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Cellular reprogramming
  • Psychiatric
  • Schizophrenia
  • iPSCs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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