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Disruption of Glutamate-Glutamine-GABA Cycle Significantly Impacts on Suicidal Behaviour: Survey of the Literature and Own Findings on Glutamine Synthetase.

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The aetiology of suicide is complex and still not completely understood. The present communication, which consists of two parts, aims to shed some light on the role of amino acidergic neurotransmission in suicide. In the first part we provide an overview of the literature showing that with the exception of certain gamma-aminobutyric acid transporters, virtually all components of the glutamate-glutamine- gamma-aminobutyric acid cycle are, in some way or other, abnormal in suicide victims, which indicates a prominent involvement of the glutamatergic and gammaaminobutyric acidergic neurotransmitter systems in suicidal behaviour. In the second part we present own immunohistochemical findings showing that densities of glutamine synthetase expressing glial cells in the mediodorsal thalamus as well as in the dorsolateral prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortex of schizophrenic suicide completers are significantly elevated compared with controls and non-suicide individuals with schizophrenia, thus calling into question the belief that cerebral glutamine synthetase deficit is indicative of suicidal behaviour.
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Keywords: Gamma-aminobutyric acid; glutamate; glutamine; glutamine synthetase; human brain; immunohistochemistry; suicide

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2013

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  • CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology, genomics and biochemistry of contemporary molecular targets involved in neurological and central nervous system (CNS) disorders e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will contain a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics on drug targets involved in neurological and CNS disorders. As the discovery, identification, characterization and validation of novel human drug targets for neurological and CNS drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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