Despite several compounds entering clinical trials for the negative and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia, few have progressed beyond phase III. This is partly attributed to a need for improved preclinical models, to understand disease and enable predictive evaluation of novel therapeutics. To this end, one recent approach incorporates “dual-hit” neurodevelopmental insults like neonatal phencyclidine plus isolation rearing (PCP-Iso). Glutamatergic dysfunction contributes to schizophrenia pathophysiology and may represent a treatment target, so we used enzyme-based microsensors to evaluate basal- and drug-evoked glutamate release in hippocampal slices from rats that received neonatal PCP and/or isolation rearing. 5-HT 6 antagonist-evoked glutamate release (thought to be mediated indirectly via GABAergic disinhibition) was reduced in PCP-Iso, as were cognitive effects of a 5-HT 6 antagonist in a hippocampal glutamate-dependent novel object discrimination task. Yet mGlu 7 antagonist-evoked glutamatergic and cognitive responses were spared. Immunohistochemical analyses suggest these findings (which mirror the apparent lack of clinical response to 5-HT 6 antagonists in schizophrenia) are not due to reduced hippocampal 5-HT input in PCP-Iso, but may be explained by reduced calbindin expression. This calcium-binding protein is present in a subset of GABAergic interneurons receiving preferential 5-HT innervation and expressing 5-HT 6 receptors. Its loss (in schizophrenia and PCP-Iso) would be expected to reduce interneuron firing and potentially prevent further 5-HT 6 antagonist-mediated disinhibition, without impacting on responses of VIP-expressing interneurons to mGlu 7 antagonism. This research highlights the importance of improved understanding for selection of appropriate preclinical models, especially where disease neurobiology impacts on cells mediating the effects of potential therapeutics.