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Dev Psychopathol. 2012 Nov;24(4):1443-51. doi: 10.1017/S095457941200082X.

Neurobiology meets genomic science: the promise of human-induced pluripotent stem cells.

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Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520–7900, USA.


The recent introduction of the induced pluripotent stem cell technology has made possible the derivation of neuronal cells from somatic cells obtained from human individuals. This in turn has opened new areas of investigation that can potentially bridge the gap between neuroscience and psychopathology. For the first time we can study the cell biology and genetics of neurons derived from any individual. Furthermore, by recapitulating in vitro the developmental steps whereby stem cells give rise to neuronal cells, we can now hope to understand factors that control typical and atypical development. We can begin to explore how human genes and their variants are transcribed into messenger RNAs within developing neurons and how these gene transcripts control the biology of developing cells. Thus, human-induced pluripotent stem cells have the potential to uncover not only what aspects of development are uniquely human but also variations in the series of events necessary for normal human brain development that predispose to psychopathology.

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