The reciprocal regulation of arginase and nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in L-arginine-metabolizing pathways has been demonstrated. There are various evidences of the role of the nitric oxide (NO) in several neuropsychiatric disorders including schizophrenia. However, there is no study which has investigated the role of arginase as an important part of the arginine regulatory system affecting NOS activity in schizophrenia. This study aims to investigate arginase, manganese (Mn) and total nitrite levels (a metabolite of NO) and their relationship to the arginine-NO pathway in patients with schizophrenia. Arginase activities, Mn and total nitrite levels were measured in plasma from 46 patients with schizophrenia and 32 healthy control subjects. Plasma arginase activities and Mn were found to be significantly lower and total nitrite level higher in patients with schizophrenia compared with controls. Our results suggest that the arginine-NO pathway is involved in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Copyright (C) 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel.