Schizophrenia endothelial cells exhibit higher permeability and altered angiogenesis patterns in patient-derived organoids.

TitleSchizophrenia endothelial cells exhibit higher permeability and altered angiogenesis patterns in patient-derived organoids.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2024
AuthorsStankovic I, Notaras M, Wolujewicz P, Lu T, Lis R, M Ross E, Colak D
JournalTransl Psychiatry
Date Published2024 Jan 23
KeywordsAdult, Angiogenesis, Blood-Brain Barrier, Endothelial Cells, Humans, Organoids, Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia (SCZ) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by the manifestation of psychiatric symptoms in early adulthood. While many research avenues into the origins of SCZ during brain development have been explored, the contribution of endothelial/vascular dysfunction to the disease remains largely elusive. To model the neuropathology of SCZ during early critical periods of brain development, we utilized patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to generate 3D cerebral organoids and define cell-specific signatures of disease. Single-cell RNA sequencing revealed that while SCZ organoids were similar in their macromolecular diversity to organoids generated from healthy controls (CTRL), SCZ organoids exhibited a higher percentage of endothelial cells when normalized to total cell numbers. Additionally, when compared to CTRL, differential gene expression analysis revealed a significant enrichment in genes that function in vessel formation, vascular regulation, and inflammatory response in SCZ endothelial cells. In line with these findings, data from 23 donors demonstrated that PECAM1+ microvascular vessel-like structures were increased in length and number in SCZ organoids in comparison to CTRL organoids. Furthermore, we report that patient-derived endothelial cells displayed higher paracellular permeability, implicating elevated vascular activity. Collectively, our data identified altered gene expression patterns, vessel-like structural changes, and enhanced permeability of endothelial cells in patient-derived models of SCZ. Hence, brain microvascular cells could play a role in the etiology of SCZ by modulating the permeability of the developing blood brain barrier (BBB).

Alternate JournalTransl Psychiatry
PubMed ID38263175
PubMed Central IDPMC10806043