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Investigation of miRNA expression in neural cells of first episode psychosis patients

Grant number: 18/26241-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): May 02, 2019
Effective date (End): May 01, 2020
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine - Psychiatry
Principal Investigator:Síntia Iole Nogueira Belangero
Grantee:Gabriela Xavier
Supervisor: Dan Rujescu
Host Institution: Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Martin-Luther-University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany  
Associated to the scholarship:16/19462-2 - MiRNA role in schizophrenia: from genome until protein, BP.DD


Schizophrenia (SCZ) is a multifactorial disease comprising a set of signs and symptoms of unknown origin. Modeling SCZ using human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) offers an emerging opportunity to examine the mechanisms underlying complex disease pathogenesis. We aim to evaluate the expression of miRNAs in neural cells of FEP patients with and without treatment with risperidone. First, we will select FEP patients from our ongoing cohort based on response to risperidone after eight weeks of treatment (responders and non-responders), and healthy controls paired by sex and age with patients. From the blood cells of FEP individuals and healthy controls, we will generate human induced pluripotent cells (iPS cells) and differentiate them into neural progenitor cells and then to cortical neurons. Those cells will be treated with antipsychotic drug or vehicle solution and we will evaluate target miRNA expression. We expect to find confirm differential expression of miRNAs markers for SCZ pathophysiology and to treatment response, as a first step on the way to an increasingly personalized medicine. (AU)

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