Effects of olanzapine on muscarinic M3 receptor binding density in the brain relates to weight gain, plasma insulin and metabolic hormone levels
The second generation antipsychotic drug (SGA) olanzapine has an efficacy to treat schizophrenia, but can cause obesity and type II diabetes mellitus. Cholinergic muscarinic M3 receptors (M3R) are expressed on pancreatic β-cells and in the brain where they influence insulin secretion and may regulate other metabolic hormones via vagal innervation of the gastrointestinal tract. Olanzapine's M3R antagonism is an important risk factor for its diabetogenic liability. However, the effects of olanzapine on central M3Rs are unknown. Rats were treated with 0.25, 0.5, 1.0 or 2.0 mg olanzapine/kg or vehicle (3×/day, 14-days). M3R binding densities in the hypothalamic arcuate (Arc) and ventromedial nuclei (VMH), and dorsal vagal complex (DVC) of the brainstem were investigated using [3H]4-DAMP plus pirenzepine and AF-DX116. M3R binding correlations to body weight, food intake, insulin, ghrelin and cholecystokinin (CCK) were analyzed. Olanzapine increased M3R binding density in the Arc, VMH and DVC, body weight, food intake, circulating plasma ghrelin and CCK levels, and decreased plasma insulin and glucose. M3R negatively correlated to insulin, and positively correlated to ghrelin, CCK, food intake and body weight. Increased M3R density is a compensatory up-regulation in response to olanzapine's M3R antagonism. Olanzapine acts on M3R in regions of the brain that control food intake and insulin secretion. Olanzapine's M3R blockade in the brain may inhibit the acetylcholine pathway for insulin secretion. These findings support a role for M3Rs in the modulation of insulin, ghrelin and CCK via the vagus nerve and provide a mechanism for olanzapine's diabetogenic and weight gain liability.