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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 4526417, 11 pages
Research Article

Brain-Specific SNAP-25 Deletion Leads to Elevated Extracellular Glutamate Level and Schizophrenia-Like Behavior in Mice

1School of Life Science and Technology, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
2Shanghai Engineering Research Center of Model Organisms (SRCMO/SMOC), Shanghai 201203, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Jian Fei

Received 29 June 2017; Revised 31 August 2017; Accepted 15 October 2017; Published 28 November 2017

Academic Editor: Depei Li

Copyright © 2017 Hua Yang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Several studies have associated reduced expression of synaptosomal-associated protein of 25 kDa (SNAP-25) with schizophrenia, yet little is known about its role in the illness. In this paper, a forebrain glutamatergic neuron-specific SNAP-25 knockout mouse model was constructed and studied to explore the possible pathogenetic role of SNAP-25 in schizophrenia. We showed that SNAP-25 conditional knockout (cKO) mice exhibited typical schizophrenia-like phenotype. A significantly elevated extracellular glutamate level was detected in the cerebral cortex of the mouse model. Compared with Ctrls, SNAP-25 was dramatically reduced by about 60% both in cytoplasm and in membrane fractions of cerebral cortex of cKOs, while the other two core members of SNARE complex: Syntaxin-1 (increased ~80%) and Vamp2 (increased ~96%) were significantly increased in cell membrane part. Riluzole, a glutamate release inhibitor, significantly attenuated the locomotor hyperactivity deficits in cKO mice. Our findings provide in vivo functional evidence showing a critical role of SNAP-25 dysfunction on synaptic transmission, which contributes to the developmental of schizophrenia. It is suggested that a SNAP-25 cKO mouse, a valuable model for schizophrenia, could address questions regarding presynaptic alterations that contribute to the etiopathophysiology of SZ and help to consummate the pre- and postsynaptic glutamatergic pathogenesis of the illness.