The levels of the synaptic vesicle-associated proteins, synapsin and synaptophysin, were examined in human postmortem hippocampus from the brains of schizophrenics and age-matched controls using a quantitative western blot analysis. The schizophrenic samples had significantly lower levels of synapsin I than controls. In individual data, five of the seven schizophrenic samples had extremely low levels of synapsin, whereas two of the schizophrenic samples had normal levels of synapsin. This deficit in synapsin does not appear to be due to some non-specific neuronal loss as the levels of the other synaptic vesicle marker, synaptophysin, were near normal in all seven schizophrenics. Given that synapsin is thought to regulate neurotransmitter release, it is possible that this deficit in synapsin could result in abnormal processing of neuronal information as is seen in various sensory processing abnormalities associated with schizophrenia.