Metabotropic glutamate receptor protein expression in the prefrontal cortex and striatum in schizophrenia

Synapse. 2005 Sep 1;57(3):123-31. doi: 10.1002/syn.20164.


We investigated the expression of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR) in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and striatum in schizophrenia. mGluRs modulate the release and reuptake of synaptic glutamate and mediate some molecular correlates of neuroplasticity, including long-term potentiation. The mGluRs are expressed widely in the PFC and striatum, regions often implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Thus, we hypothesized that abnormal expression of mGluRs might contribute to glutamatergic dysfunction observed in the PFC and striatum in schizophrenia. Accordingly, we measured the expression of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) in Brodmann areas 9, 11, 32, and 46 in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the caudate, putamen, and nucleus accumbens in schizophrenia (16 cases, 9 controls) by Western blot analysis. We found an increase in the expression of mGluR1a and mGluR2/3 immunoreactivity in the PFC in schizophrenia, while no changes in the expression of mGluR4a or mGluR5 were detected in this region. In the striatum we found no changes in the expression of any of the mGluRs studied. These results suggest that alterations of mGluR1a and mGluR2/3 expression in the PFC may contribute to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, and support targeting these receptors for the generation of novel treatment modalities for this disabling illness.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Blotting, Western / methods
  • Corpus Striatum / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postmortem Changes
  • Prefrontal Cortex / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / classification
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / metabolism*
  • Schizophrenia / metabolism*


  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate