Cell-based therapies for the treatment of schizophrenia

Jennifer J. Donegan, Daniel J. Lodge

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Schizophrenia is a devastating psychiatric disorder characterized by positive, negative and cognitive symptoms. While aberrant dopamine system function is typically associated with the positive symptoms of the disease, it is thought that this is secondary to pathology in afferent regions. Indeed, schizophrenia patients show dysregulated activity in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, two regions known to regulate dopamine neuron activity. These deficits in hippocampal and prefrontal cortical function are thought to result, in part, from reductions in inhibitory interneuron function in these brain regions. Therefore, it has been hypothesized that restoring interneuron function in the hippocampus and/or prefrontal cortex may be an effective treatment strategy for schizophrenia. In this article, we will discuss the evidence for interneuron pathology in schizophrenia and review recent advances in our understanding of interneuron development. Finally, we will explore how these advances have allowed us to test the therapeutic value of interneuron transplants in multiple preclinical models of schizophrenia. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI:StemsCellsinPsychiatry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-269
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research
StatePublished - Jan 15 2017


  • Dopamine
  • Interneurons
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Schizophrenia
  • Stem cells
  • Ventral hippocampus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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