Traditionally, neuroscience had dominantly focused on neurons, however the majority of cells in the brain are not neurons but glial cells including astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and microglia. Historically, the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders has come to be understood within the neuronal doctrine including the understandings of synaptic connections and neuronal networks. Recent human postmortem and imaging studies have indicated dysfunctions of neuron-glia interaction in various psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, depression and autism. We briefly introduce recent topics of glia-related pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders based on rodent and human postmortem and imaging studies. On the other hand, the most significant limitation in psychiatric research is that we cannot obtain living brain cells, including glial cells, from living human subjects based on ethical issues. We herein summarize a novel technique to produce directly induced neuronal and glial cells from somatic cells (not from the brain) such as skin fibroblasts and peripheral bloods by utilizing a gene-modification technique and/or chemical applications. Based on the above-technique, we propose a novel translational study combining with a multi-dimensional perspective; brain imaging analysis, psychometric assessments and molecular functional analysis of induced neuronal and glial cells in psychiatric patients.
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