Treatment-resistant schizophrenia (TRS) has been suggested to involve glutamatergic dysfunction. Glutathione (GSH), a dominant antioxidant, is known to be involved in glutamatergic neurotransmission. To date, no study has examined GSH levels in patients with TRS. The aim of this study was to examine GSH levels in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) of patients with TRS. Patients with schizophrenia were categorized into 3 groups with respect to their antipsychotic response: (1) clozapine (CLZ) nonresponders, (2) CLZ responders, and (3) first-line responders (FLR). GSH and glutamine + glutamate (Glx) levels were measured using 3T proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Firstly, dACC GSH levels were compared among the patient groups and healthy controls (HCs). Further, relationships between GSH and Glx levels were compared between the groups and GSH levels were explored stratifying the patient groups based on the glutamate-cysteine ligase catalytic (GCLC) subunit polymorphism. There was no difference in GSH levels between the groups. FLR showed a more negative relationship between GSH and Glx levels in the dACC compared to HCs. There were no effects of GCLC genotype on the GSH levels. However, CLZ responders had a higher ratio of high-risk GCLC genotype compared to CLZ nonresponders. This study demonstrated different relationships between GSH and Glx in the dACC between groups. In addition, the results suggest a potential link between CLZ response and GCLC genotype. However, it still remains unclear how these differences are related to the underlying pathophysiology of schizophrenia subtypes or the mechanisms of action of CLZ.
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