The PI3K signaling pathway as a pharmacological target in Autism related disorders and Schizophrenia
This review is focused in PI3K’s involvement in two widespread mental disorders: Autism and Schizophrenia. A large body of evidence points to synaptic dysfunction as a cause of these diseases, either during the initial phases of brain synaptic circuit’s development or later modulating synaptic function and plasticity. Autism related disorders and Schizophrenia are complex genetic conditions in which the identification of gene markers has proved difficult, although the existence of single-gene mutations with a high prevalence in both diseases offers insight into the role of the PI3K signaling pathway. In the brain, components of the PI3K pathway regulate synaptic formation and plasticity; thus, disruption of this pathway leads to synapse dysfunction and pathological behaviors. Here, we recapitulate recent evidences that demonstrate the imbalance of several PI3K elements as leading causes of Autism and Schizophrenia, together with the plausible new pharmacological paths targeting this signaling pathway.