Cellular reprogramming: A novel tool for investigating autism spectrum disorders

Department of Genetics, Yale Stem Cell Center, Yale School of Medicine, 10 Amistad, 201B, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.
Trends in Molecular Medicine (Impact Factor: 9.45). 07/2012; 18(8):463-71. DOI: 10.1016/j.molmed.2012.06.002
Source: PubMed


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impairment in reciprocal social interaction and communication, as well as the manifestation of stereotyped behaviors. Despite much effort, ASDs are not yet fully understood. Advanced genetics and genomics technologies have recently identified novel ASD genes, and approaches using genetically engineered murine models or postmortem human brain have facilitated understanding ASD. Reprogramming somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) provides unprecedented opportunities in generating human disease models. Here, we present an overview of applying iPSCs in developing cellular models for understanding ASD. We also discuss future perspectives in the use of iPSCs as a source of cell therapy and as a screening platform for identifying small molecules with efficacy for alleviating ASD.

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