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Etievant, A., Lau, T., Lucas, G., & Haddjeri, N. (2019)

Serotonin neuronal function from the bed to the bench: is this really a mirrored way?

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) offer a great opportunity to recapitulate both normal and pathologic development of brain tissues. Recently, three research teams have developed human-PSC technology and direct somatic cell reprogramming to allow induction of human serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) neurons in vitro. While preclinical studies have repeatedly shown that 5-HT suppresses 5-HT neuronal firing activity, one group has tested the effect of 5-HT on the neuronal activity of those 5-HT-like cells and found a paradoxical excitatory action of 5-HT. Here, we argue that few cautions in translational interpretations have to be taken into account. Nonetheless, using patient-derived cells for generating disease relevant cell types truly offers a new and powerful approach for investigating mechanisms playing fundamental roles in psychiatric disorders.

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