The extracellular concentrations of glutamate and its co-agonist for the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, glycine, may be under the control of amino acid transporters in the ischemic brain. However, there is little information on changes in glycine and glutamate transporters in the hippocampal CA1 field of gerbils with transient forebrain ischemia. This study investigated the spatial and temporal expressions of glycine transporter 1 (GLYT1) and three glutamate transporter (excitatory amino acid carrier 1, EAAC1; glutamate/aspartate transporter, GLAST; glutamate transporter 1, GLT1) mRNA in the gerbil hippocampus after 3 minutes of ischemia. The GLYT1 mRNA was transiently upregulated by the second day after ischemia in astrocytelike cells in close vicinity to hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons, possibly to reduce glycine concentration in the local extracellular spaces. The EAAC1 mRNA was abundantly expressed in almost all pyramidal neurons and dentate granule cells in the control gerbil hippocampus, whereas the expression level in CA1 pyramidal neurons started to decrease by the fourth day after ischemia in synchrony with degeneration of the CA1 neurons. The GLAST and GLT1 mRNA were rather intensely expressed in the dentate gyrus and CA3 field of the control hippocampus, respectively, but they were weakly expressed in the CA1 field before and after ischemia. As GLAST and GLT1 play a major role in the control of extracellular glutamate concentration, the paucity of these transporters in the CA1 field may account for the vulnerability of CA1 neurons to ischemia, provided that the functional GLAST and GLT1 proteins are also less in the CA1 field than in the CA3 field. This study suggests that the amino acid transporters play pivotal roles in the process of delayed neuronal death in the hippocampal CA1 field.