Increased expression of the astrocytic glutamate transporter GLT-1 in the prefrontal cortex of schizophrenics

Glia. 2005 Feb;49(3):451-5. doi: 10.1002/glia.20119.


To verify whether altered glial glutamate uptake contributes to the reduced efficacy of glutamatergic transmission reported in the prefrontal cortex of schizophrenics, we studied the expression of GLT-1, the transporter responsible for most glutamate transport, in autoptic samples of prefrontal cortex using real time quantitative RT-PCR, immunocytochemistry, and functional assays. GLT-1 mRNA levels in medication-free patients were 2.5-fold higher than in controls, whereas they were normal or reduced in patients treated with antipsychotics. We also observed a 4-fold increase in L-[(3)H]-Glu uptake in Xenopus oocytes injected with mRNA from the prefrontal cortex of a medication-free schizophrenic and a 2-fold increase in GLT-1 protein in the same cortical area of another medication-free patient. Results suggest that GLT-1 mRNA, protein and function are increased in prefrontal cortex of schizophrenics.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / metabolism*
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Transporter 2 / biosynthesis*
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Transporter 2 / genetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Prefrontal Cortex / metabolism*
  • Schizophrenia / genetics
  • Schizophrenia / metabolism*
  • Xenopus


  • Excitatory Amino Acid Transporter 2