AMPA receptor subunit expression in the endoplasmic reticulum in frontal cortex of elderly patients with schizophrenia


Several lines of evidence indicate altered trafficking of alpha-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionate (AMPA) receptors in schizophrenia. Previous reports have shown potential changes in the trafficking of AMPA receptors based on subunit expression of endosomes, subcellular organelles located near post-synaptic sites. We hypothesized that alterations in AMPA receptor trafficking through the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) may also be altered in schizophrenia. Accordingly, we developed a technique to isolate and measure content of the ER from postmortem brain tissue. We used Western blot and electron microscopy to show that we isolated an ER enriched fraction. We found no changes in the expression of the AMPA receptor subunits, GluR1-4, in the ER from the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia. These data suggest that AMPA receptor trafficking through the ER is largely intact in schizophrenia.