Glutamate Receptors and Transporters in the Hippocampus in Schizophrenia


Address for correspondence: Prof. P.J. Harrison, Neurosciences Building, University Department of Psychiatry, Warneford Hospital, Oxford OX3 7JX, U.K. Voice: +44-1865-223730; fax: +44-1865-251076.


Abstract: Postmortem studies, using various methods and directed at several molecular targets, have provided increasing evidence that glutamatergic neurotransmission is affected in schizophrenia. The bulk of the data are in the hippocampus, wherein there is reduced expression of one or more subunits for all three ionotropic receptors (NMDA, AMPA, and kainate). Presynaptic glutamatergic markers, notably the vesicular glutamate transporter VGLUT1, may also be decreased in schizophrenia, especially in older subjects. CA1 appears less affected than other subfields, and the decrements may be greater in the left than in the right hippocampus. The recently described susceptibility genes for schizophrenia all act upon glutamatergic synaptic transmission, which may, therefore, be part of the core pathophysiology of the disorder.