Fragile X syndrome (FXS), the most prevalent heritable form of intellectual disability, is caused by the transcriptional silencing of the FMR1 gene. While neuronal contribution to FXS has been extensively studied in both animal and human-based models of FXS, the roles of astrocytes, a type of glial cells in the brain, are largely unknown. Here, we generated a human-based FXS model via differentiation of astrocytes from human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) and human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and characterized their development, function, and proteomic profiles. We identified shortened cell cycle, enhanced Ca2+ signaling, impaired sterol biosynthesis, and pervasive alterations in the proteome of FXS astrocytes. Our work identified astrocytic impairments that could contribute to the pathogenesis of FXS and highlight astrocytes as a novel therapeutic target for FXS treatment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience