We previously identified a causal link between a rare patient mutation in DISC1 (disrupted-in-schizophrenia 1) and synaptic deficits in cortical neurons differentiated from isogenic patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Here we find that transcripts related to phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) signaling are significantly elevated in human cortical neurons differentiated from iPSCs with the DISC1 mutation and that inhibition of PDE4 or activation of the cAMP signaling pathway functionally rescues synaptic deficits. We further generated a knock-in mouse line harboring the same patient mutation in the Disc1 gene. Heterozygous Disc1 mutant mice exhibit elevated levels of PDE4s and synaptic abnormalities in the brain, and social and cognitive behavioral deficits. Pharmacological inhibition of the PDE4 signaling pathway rescues these synaptic, social and cognitive behavioral abnormalities. Our study shows that patient-derived isogenic iPSC and humanized mouse disease models are integral and complementary for translational studies with a better understanding of underlying molecular mechanisms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)