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Current Molecular Medicine


ISSN (Print): 1566-5240
ISSN (Online): 1875-5666

Microendophenotypes of Psychiatric Disorders: Phenotypes of Psychiatric Disorders at the Level of Molecular Dynamics, Synapses, Neurons, and Neural Circuits

Author(s): S. Kida and T. Kato

Volume 15, Issue 2, 2015

Page: [111 - 118] Pages: 8

DOI: 10.2174/1566524015666150303002128

open access plus


Psychiatric disorders are caused not only by genetic factors but also by complicated factors such as environmental ones. Moreover, environmental factors are rarely quantitated as biological and biochemical indicators, making it extremely difficult to understand the pathological conditions of psychiatric disorders as well as their underlying pathogenic mechanisms. Additionally, we have actually no other option but to perform biological studies on postmortem human brains that display features of psychiatric disorders, thereby resulting in a lack of experimental materials to characterize the basic biology of these disorders. From these backgrounds, animal, tissue, or cell models that can be used in basic research are indispensable to understand biologically the pathogenic mechanisms of psychiatric disorders. In this review, we discuss the importance of microendophenotypes of psychiatric disorders, i.e., phenotypes at the level of molecular dynamics, neurons, synapses, and neural circuits, as targets of basic research on these disorders.

Keywords: Animal model, bipolar disorder, depression, endophenotype, microendophenotype, psychiatric disorder, PTSD, schizophrenia.

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