Using western blottings, microdialysis, and functional assays we tested the hypothesis that phencyclidine (PCP) modifies the expression and function of glutamate (Glu) transporters in the rat frontal cortex. Western blotting studies revealed that administration of PCP (10 mg/kg/day; 7 days) increased significantly the expression of the astrocytic Glu transporter GLT-1/EAAT2. Functional studies showed that PCP increased significantly Na+-dependent Glu uptake in slices and in neuron/astrocyte co-cultures, and microdialysis studies evidenced that PCP treatment reduced basal Glu output. In our experimental conditions, PCP did not induce toxicity. These studies show that PCP increases the expression of GLT-1 in the cerebral cortex, thereby increasing Glu uptake and reducing extracellular [Glu]. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.