Blood Levels of Glutamate and Glutamine in Recent Onset and Chronic Schizophrenia

Caroline Madeira, Flavio V. Alheira, Marilia A. Calcia, Thuany C.S. Silva, Filippe M. Tannos, Charles Vargas-Lopes, Melissa Fisher, Nelson Goldenstein, Marco Antonio Brasil, Sophia Vinogradov, Sergio T. Ferreira, Rogerio Panizzutti

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26 Scopus citations


Converging evidence indicates that dysfunctions in glutamatergic neurotransmission and in the glutamate-glutamine cycle play a role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Here, we investigated glutamate and glutamine levels in the blood of patients with recent onset schizophrenia or chronic schizophrenia compared to healthy controls. Compared with healthy controls, patients with recent onset schizophrenia showed increased glutamine/glutamate ratio, while patients with chronic schizophrenia showed decreased glutamine/glutamate ratio. Results indicate that circulating glutamate and glutamine levels exhibit a dual behavior in schizophrenia, with an increase of glutamine/glutamate ratio at the onset of schizophrenia followed by a decrease with progression of the disorder. Further studies are warranted to elucidate the mechanisms and consequences of changes in circulating glutamate and glutamine in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number713
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
StatePublished - Dec 19 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank A. C. Rangel and A. Fantinatti for administrative and technical support. This research was supported by grants from DECIT/SCTIE/MS, SESDC, Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ) and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) (RP and SF); Instituto Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia de Biologia Estrutural e Bioimagem (INBEB) (RP); and National Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SF). RP was recipient of a Long-Term Fellowship from the Human Frontier Science Program. CM and CV-L were supported by pre-doctoral fellowships from FAPERJ and CNPq.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2018 Madeira, Alheira, Calcia, Silva, Tannos, Vargas-Lopes, Fisher, Goldenstein, Brasil, Vinogradov, Ferreira and Panizzutti.


  • blood
  • chronic schizophrenia
  • glutamate
  • glutamine
  • recent onset schizophrenia


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