Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • News & Views
  • Published:


Imaging the glutamate synapse

A new positron emission tomography radiotracer enables imaging of the human glutamate receptor AMPA-R, a fundamental component of neurotransmission involved in neuropsychiatric disorders.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Fig. 1: A new PET radiotracer allows identification of the distribution of AMPA-Rs in the synapses of people with epilepsy.


  1. Miyazaki, T. et al. Nat. Med. (2020).

  2. Malinow, R. & Malenka, R. C. Annu. Rev. Neurosci. 25, 103–126 (2002).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Pilowsky, L. S. et al. Mol. Psychiatry 11, 118–119 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Bressan, R. A. et al. Biol. Psychiatry 58, 41–46 (2005).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Ahmed, A. H., Ptak, C. P. & Oswald, R. E. Biochemistry 49, 2843–2850 (2010).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Mathern, G. W. et al. J. Neuropathol. Exp. Neurol. 57, 615–634 (1998).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Mathern, G. W. et al. Brain 120, 1937–1959 (1997).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Finnema, S. J. et al. Sci. Transl. Med. 8, 348ra96 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Lam, J. et al. Ann. Neurol. 85, 218–228 (2019).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. DeLorenzo, C. et al. Biol. Psychiatry 77, 266–275 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Martin-Facklam, M. et al. Neuropsychopharmacology 38, 504–512 (2013).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to John H. Krystal.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

J.H.K. is supported by funds from the US Department of Veterans Affairs via its support of the National Center for PTSD, by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism via its support of the Center for the Translational Neuroscience of Alcoholism (P50 AA021818), and the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) via its support for CTSA Grant Number UL1 TR001863. J.H.K. is a co-sponsor of a patent for the intranasal administration of ketamine for the treatment of depression and for the treatment of suicide risk that was licensed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals; has a patent related to the use of riluzole to treat anxiety disorders that was licensed by Biohaven Pharmaceuticals; has stock or stock options in Biohaven Pharmaceuticals, Blackthorn Therapeutics, Luc Therapeutics, Cadent Pharmaceuticals, Terran Biosciences, Spring Healthcare, and Sage Pharmaceuticals; serves on the Board of Directors of Inheris Pharmaceuticals; leads two studies in which pharmaceutical companies (Cerevel Pharmaceuticals and Novartis) have provided access to drugs without charge; has received, over the past 3 years, over US$5,000 in compensation for consulting to Sunovion, Takeda, Novartis, and Janssen Pharmaceuticals; and receives over US$5,000 in income from the Society of Biological Psychiatry in compensation for serving as editor of the journal Biological Psychiatry.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Krystal, J.H. Imaging the glutamate synapse. Nat Med 26, 165–167 (2020).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing