Psychiatric disorders, such like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, affect more than 10% of population worldwide. Disrupted-In-Schizophrenia-1 (DISC1) is a promising candidate gene for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. This gene was first found in 1970, in a Scotland patient, and have been established as a hub protein with various functions in the pre- and postnatal development of the nervous system. Molecular functional analyses of DISC1 in cell models have revealed its potential role in cytoskeletal organization, especially during neurodevelopment, and cAMP signaling. The study of gene mutant mice model showed that DISC1 is involved in cerebral cortex development and suggest that loss of DISC1 function may underlie neurodevelopmental dysfunction in schizophrenia.
We are aiming to clarifying the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders or mechanism of emergence of primate-specific structure and functions of the brain by using the genome-edited macaque monkey models. By building the schizophrenia/bipolar disorder disease model on none-human primates and studying the animal behavior and neural mechanisms, we can reveal the direct relationship between DISC1 gene mutant and psychiatric disorders, and provide methods for further developing intervention strategies.
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