Reduced cyclic AMP (cAMP) production has been found in platelets of schizophrenic patients. cAMP is generated physiologically as a result of a series of steps beginning with receptor activation by a ligand, progressing through activation of the enzyme protein, adenylate cyclase. The deficit of cAMP found in the schizophrenic population may occur at any one, or at multiple steps in this cascade. The present study attempts to discriminate whether impaired adenylate cyclase itself was responsible for the cAMP deficit or whether abnormalities in receptor events or linkage are present in schizophrenics. The production of cAMP following direct stimulation of adenylate cyclase by NaF was contrasted with receptor mediated activation of adenylate cyclase by prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) in disrupted platelet preparations from schizophrenics and normal controls. cAMP formation stimulated by NaF was not different in platelets of schizophrenics as compared to controls, however, platelets of schizophrenics showed reduced response to PGE1 stimulation. The authors interpret these findings as evidence for a membrane associated abnormality of either receptor or receptor-adenylate cyclase linkage in the schizophrenias.