N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor hypofunction is the basis of pathophysiology in schizophrenia. Blocking the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor impairs learning and memory abilities and induces pathological changes in the brain. Previous studies have paid little attention to the role of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunit 1 (NR1) in neurogenesis in the hippocampus of schizophrenia. A mouse model of schizophrenia was established by intraperitoneal injection of 0.6 mg/kg MK-801, once a day, for 14 days. In N-methyl-D-aspartate-treated mice, N-methyl-D-aspartate was administered by intracerebroventricular injection in schizophrenia mice on day 15. The number of NR1-, Ki67- or BrdU-immunoreactive cells in the dentate gyrus was measured by immunofluorescence staining. Our data showed the number of NR1-immunoreactive cells increased along with the decreasing numbers of BrdU- and Ki67-immunoreactive cells in the schizophrenia groups compared with the control group. N-methyl-D-aspartate could reverse the above changes. These results indicated that NR1 can regulate neurogenesis in the hippocampal dentate gyrus of schizophrenia mice, supporting NR1 as a promising therapeutic target in the treatment of schizophrenia. This study was approved by the Experimental Animal Ethics Committee of the Ningxia Medical University, China (approval No. 2014-014) on March 6, 2014.