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Psychiatry Res. 1992 Jun;42(3):273-82.

Regionally selective deficits in uptake sites for glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid in the basal ganglia in schizophrenia.

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  • 1Department of Physiological Sciences, University of Manchester, U.K.


In a post-mortem study of schizophrenic and control subjects, the sodium-dependent binding of D-[3H]aspartate and [3H]nipecotic acid were used to investigate uptake sites of glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), respectively, in subcortical brain regions. Binding to the glutamate uptake site was substantially reduced in both the putamen and lateral pallidum of the schizophrenic subjects. Binding to the GABA uptake site was substantially reduced in the putamen; smaller reductions were apparent in the caudate nucleus and lateral pallidum. The results suggest that glutamatergic and GABAergic mechanisms in the basal ganglia are abnormal in schizophrenia. These abnormalities could be relevant to the development of psychosis but could also relate to the spectrum of mild motor disturbances often described in the disease.

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