GLIAL CELLSSerine racemase protein expression in cortex and hippocampus in schizophreniaSteffek, Amy E.a; Haroutunian, Vahramb; Meador-Woodruff, James H.a c Author Information aMolecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute and Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan bDepartment of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York cDepartment of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA Correspondence and requests for reprints to Amy E. Steffek, Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute and Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, 5668 BSRB 109 Zina Pitcher Place, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2200, USA Tel: +1 734 615 3146; fax: +1 734 936 2697; e-mail: [email protected] Sponsorship: This work was supported by Scottish Rite Schizophrenia Research Fellowship (A.E.S.), MH53327 (J.H.M.W.), MH64673, MH45212, and a VA Merit Award (V.H.). Received 8 May 2006; accepted 27 May 2006 NeuroReport: July 31, 2006 - Volume 17 - Issue 11 - p 1181-1185 doi: 10.1097/01.wnr.0000230512.01339.72 Buy Metrics Abstract Evidence of glutamatergic dysfunction in schizophrenia associated with the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor has historically demonstrated changes primarily attributable to neurons. We propose an astrocytic component to N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor dysfunction in this illness. We studied the expression of serine racemase, an astrocytic enzyme which synthesizes the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor coagonist D-serine, using Western blot analysis in postmortem hippocampus and cortex in schizophrenia and a comparison group. We found increased expression in the hippocampus in schizophrenia. This is the first study to demonstrate alterations in schizophrenia of an astrocytic enzyme responsible for synthesizing a neuromodulator, and further evidence that astrocytes may play a direct role in N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor dysfunction in schizophrenia. © 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.