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Biol Psychiatry. 2008 Nov 1;64(9):810-4. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2008.05.001. Epub 2008 Jun 12.

Loss of glial glutamate and aspartate transporter (excitatory amino acid transporter 1) causes locomotor hyperactivity and exaggerated responses to psychotomimetics: rescue by haloperidol and metabotropic glutamate 2/3 agonist.

Author information

1
Laboratory for Clinical and Translational Studies, National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA. karlssonr@mail.nih.gov

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Recent data suggest that excessive glutamatergic signaling in the prefrontal cortex may contribute to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and that promoting presynaptic glutamate modulation via group II metabotropic glutamate 2/3 (mGlu2/3) receptor activation can exert antipsychotic efficacy. The glial glutamate and aspartate transporter (GLAST) (excitatory amino acid transporter 1 [EAAT1]) regulates extracellular glutamate levels via uptake into glia, but the consequences of GLAST dysfunction for schizophrenia are largely unknown.

METHODS:

We examined GLAST knockout mice (KO) for behaviors thought to model positive symptoms in schizophrenia (locomotor hyperactivity to novelty, exaggerated locomotor response to N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor [NMDAR] antagonism) and the ability of haloperidol and the mGlu2/3 agonist LY379268 to normalize novelty-induced hyperactivity.

RESULTS:

Glial glutamate and aspartate transporter KO consistently showed locomotor hyperactivity to a novel but not familiar environment, relative to wild-type (WT) mice. The locomotor hyperactivity-inducing effects of the NMDAR antagonist MK-801 was exaggerated in GLAST KO relative to WT. Treatment with haloperidol or LY379268 normalized novelty-induced locomotor hyperactivity in GLAST KO.

CONCLUSIONS:

Schizophrenia-related abnormalities in GLAST KO raise the possibility that loss of GLAST-mediated glutamate clearance could be a pathophysiological risk factor for the disease. Our findings provide novel support for the hypothesis that glutamate dysregulation contributes to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and for the antipsychotic potential of mGlu2/3 agonists.

PMID:
18550032
PMCID:
PMC2696047
DOI:
10.1016/j.biopsych.2008.05.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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