Following the genes: A framework for animal modeling of psychiatric disorders

Kevin J. Mitchell, Z. Josh Huang, Bita Moghaddam, Akira Sawa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The number of individual cases of psychiatric disorders that can be ascribed to identified, rare, single mutations is increasing with great rapidity. Such mutations can be recapitulated in mice to generate animal models with direct etiological validity. Defining the underlying pathogenic mechanisms will require an experimental and theoretical framework to make the links from mutation to altered behavior in an animal or psychopathology in a human. Here, we discuss key elements of such a framework, including cell type-based phenotyping, developmental trajectories, linking circuit properties at micro and macro scales and definition of neurobiological phenotypes that are directly translatable to humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number76
JournalBMC Biology
StatePublished - Nov 11 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Allelic heterogeneity
  • Autism
  • Cre
  • Eeg
  • Functional connectivity
  • Interneurons
  • Microcircuits
  • Rare mutations
  • Schizophrenia
  • Synaptic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Structural Biology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Plant Science
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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