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Stem Cells International
Volume 2016, Article ID 7909176, 21 pages
Review Article

A Dishful of a Troubled Mind: Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells in Psychiatric Research

1Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary
2National Brain Research Program, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Molecular Psychiatry and In Vitro Disease Modeling Research Group, Budapest, Hungary
3Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Faculty of Medicine, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary

Received 17 July 2015; Accepted 30 September 2015

Academic Editor: Xiaoyang Zhao

Copyright © 2016 Sára Kálmán et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Neuronal differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells and direct reprogramming represent powerful methods for modeling the development of neurons in vitro. Moreover, this approach is also a means for comparing various cellular phenotypes between cell lines originating from healthy and diseased individuals or isogenic cell lines engineered to differ at only one or a few genomic loci. Despite methodological constraints and initial skepticism regarding this approach, the field is expanding at a fast pace. The improvements include the development of new differentiation protocols resulting in selected neuronal populations (e.g., dopaminergic, GABAergic, hippocampal, and cortical), the widespread use of genome editing methods, and single-cell techniques. A major challenge awaiting in vitro disease modeling is the integration of clinical data in the models, by selection of well characterized clinical populations. Ideally, these models will also demonstrate how different diagnostic categories share overlapping molecular disease mechanisms, but also have unique characteristics. In this review we evaluate studies with regard to the described developments, to demonstrate how differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells and direct reprogramming can contribute to psychiatry.