D-serine has been shown to be a major endogenous coagonist of the N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) type of glutamate receptors. Accumulating evidence suggests that NMDA receptor hypofunction contributes to the symptomatic features of schizophrenia. d-serine degradation can be mediated by the enzyme d-amino acid oxidase (DAAO). An involvement of d-serine in the etiology of schizophrenia is suggested by the association of the disease with single nucleotide polymorphisms in the DAAO and its regulator (G72). The present study aims to further elucidate whether the DAAO activity is altered in schizophrenia. Specific DAAO activity was measured in postmortem cortex samples of bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia patients, and normal controls (n=15 per group). The mean DAAO activity was two-fold higher in the schizophrenia patients group compared with the control group. There was no correlation between DAAO activity and age, age of onset, duration of disease, pH of the tissue and tissue storage time and no effect of gender, cause of death and history of alcohol and substance abuse. The group of neuroleptics users (including bipolar disorder patients) showed significantly higher D-amino acid oxidase activity. However, there was no correlation between the cumulative life-time antipsychotic usage and D-amino acid oxidase levels. In mice, either chronic exposure to antipsychotics or acute administration of the NMDA receptor blocker MK-801, did not change d-amino acid oxidase activity. These findings provide indications that D-serine availability in the nervous system may be altered in schizophrenia because of increased D-amino acid degradation by DAAO.