Synaptophysin and GAP-43 mRNA levels in the hippocampus of subjects with schizophrenia

Maree J. Webster, Cynthia Shannon Weickert, Mary M. Herman, Thomas M. Hyde, Joel E. Kleinman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Synaptophysin and growth associated protein-43 (GAP-43) are synaptic proteins colocalized to the presynaptic terminal, and involved in regulating transmitter release and synaptic plasticity. Recent studies have proposed an alteration in the number of synapses in the brains of individuals with schizophrenia. As a corollary, we hypothesized that there may be an alteration in the level of mRNAs that code for synaptic proteins in brains of patients with schizophrenia. Using in situ hybridization, we investigated the levels of synaptophysin and GAP-43 mRNA in the medial temporal lobe of 10 normal subjects, 11 subjects with schizophrenia and 10 psychiatric control subjects. Synaptophysin mRNA levels were significantly reduced in several hippocampal subfields in both the schizophrenic and psychiatric control groups. GAP-43 mRNA levels were not significantly reduced in either group. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to neuroleptic treatment and the pathophysiology of mental illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-98
Number of pages10
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 15 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • GAP-43 mRNA
  • Growth associated protein-43
  • In situ hybridization
  • Neuroleptic treatment
  • Schizophrenia
  • Synaptophysin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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