S. Kida and T. Kato Pages 111 - 118 ( 8 )
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.
Animal model, bipolar disorder, depression, endophenotype, microendophenotype, psychiatric disorder, PTSD, schizophrenia.
Department of Bioscience, Faculty of Applied Bioscience, Tokyo University of Agriculture, Tokyo 156-8502, Japan.