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With few exceptions, the marked advances in knowledge about the genetic basis for schizophrenia have not converged on findings that can be confidently used for precise experimental modeling. Applying knowledge of the cellular taxonomy of the brain from single-cell RNA-sequencing, we evaluated whether the genomic loci implicated in schizophrenia map onto specific brain cell types. The common variant genomic results consistently mapped to pyramidal cells, medium spiny neurons, and certain interneurons but far less consistently to embryonic, progenitor, or glial cells. These enrichments were due to distinct sets of genes specifically expressed in each of these cell types. Many of the diverse gene sets associated with schizophrenia (including antipsychotic targets) implicate the same brain cell types. Our results provide a parsimonious explanation: the common-variant genetic results for schizophrenia point at a limited set of neurons, and the gene sets point to the same cells. While some of the genetic risk is associated with GABAergic interneurons, this risk largely does not overlap with that from projecting cells.

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