Autism and Schizophrenia

Chicheng Sun, Lei Zhang, and Gong Chen. (2013) An unexpected role of neuroligin-2 in regulating KCC2 and GABA functional switch. Mol Brain, 6:23.

Chicheng Sun, Lei Zhang, and Gong Chen. (2013) An unexpected role of neuroligin-2 in regulating KCC2 and GABA functional switch. Mol Brain, 6:23.

Many neurological disorders are caused by imbalance between excitation and inhibition.Our lab investigates molecular mechanisms of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and schizophrenia, with a special focus on GABAergic synapses in the developing brain. GABA signaling emerges very early during embryonic brain development. GABA function changes from excitation in neonatal brain to inhibition in adult brain. 

Tang, X., Zhou, L., Wagner, A.M., Muotri, A.R., Gage, F.H., Chen, G. (2013) Astroglial cells regulate the developmental timeline of human neurons differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells, Stem Cell Research

Tang, X., Zhou, L., Wagner, A.M., Muotri, A.R., Gage, F.H., Chen, G. (2013) Astroglial cells regulate the developmental timeline of human neurons differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells, Stem Cell Research

We have generated a transgenic mouse model with GABAergic deficits to study the functional role of GABA in schizophrenia and related neuropsychiatric disorders. We also employ induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from autism patients to study GABA function in autism.