Characterization hiPSC-derived neural progenitor cells and neurons to investigate the role of NOS1AP isoforms in human neuron dendritogenesis

Christen M. Crosta, Kristina Hernandez, Atul K. Bhattiprolu, Allen Y. Fu, Jennifer C. Moore, Stephen G. Clarke, Natasha R. Dudzinski, Linda M. Brzustowicz, Kenneth G. Paradiso, Bonnie L. Firestein

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1 Scopus citations


Abnormal dendritic arbor development has been implicated in a number of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism and Rett syndrome, and the neuropsychiatric disorder schizophrenia. Postmortem brain samples from subjects with schizophrenia show elevated levels of NOS1AP in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, a region of the brain associated with cognitive function. We previously reported that the long isoform of NOS1AP (NOS1AP-L), but not the short isoform (NOS1AP-S), negatively regulates dendrite branching in rat hippocampal neurons. To investigate the role that NOS1AP isoforms play in human dendritic arbor development, we adapted methods to generate human neural progenitor cells and neurons using induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology. We found that increased protein levels of either NOS1AP-L or NOS1AP-S decrease dendrite branching in human neurons at the developmental time point when primary and secondary branching actively occurs. Next, we tested whether pharmacological agents can decrease the expression of NOS1AP isoforms. Treatment of human iPSC-derived neurons with D-serine, but not clozapine, haloperidol, fluphenazine, or GLYX-13, results in a reduction in endogenous NOS1AP-L, but not NOS1AP-S, protein expression; however, D-serine treatment does not reverse decreases in dendrite number mediated by overexpression of NOS1AP isoforms. In summary, we demonstrate how an in vitro model of human neuronal development can help in understanding the etiology of schizophrenia and can also be used as a platform to screen drugs for patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103562
JournalMolecular and Cellular Neuroscience
StatePublished - Dec 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


  • Antipsychotic medication
  • Arborization
  • D-Serine
  • Morphology
  • NOS1AP
  • hiPSC-derived neurons


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