Neurotransmitter amino acids in post-mortem brains of chronic schizophrenic patients

Esa R. Korpi, Joel E. Kleinman, Steven I. Goodman, Richard Jed Wyatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Neurotransmitter amino acids were measured in post-mortem caudate nucleus, nucleus accumbens, frontal cortex, amygdala, and hypothalamus of chronic schizophrenic and normal control subjects. The concentrations of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), taurine, glycine-threonine, glutamate, aspartate, glutamine, tryptophan, and alanine were similar in both groups, with the exception of decreased GABA and tryptophan in the amygdala of the schizophrenic group. Strong positive correlations were obtained between the concentration of tryptophan, a putative agonal status marker of post-mortem brain tissue, and the concentration of GABA in all brain areas. When the GABA concentrations were adjusted for tryptophan concentrations in amygdala, the difference between the schizophrenic and control samples was no longer significant, suggesting that the original difference may have been due to different agonal or post-mortem changes in the tissues. There were, however, no significant correlations between GABA and post-mortem interval. The present results do not support the aminoacidergic hypotheses of chronic schizophrenia, although a GABA deficiency cannot be entirely excluded.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-301
Number of pages11
JournalPsychiatry research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • Schizophrenia
  • neurotransmitter amino acids
  • post-mortem brain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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