The dosage-dependent effects of cevimeline in preventing olanzapine-induced metabolic side-effects in female rats
Olanzapine has been used for the treatment of schizophrenia and other mental disorders. However, it is associated with serious weight gain and other metabolic side-effects. The antagonistic affinity of olanzapine to muscarinic M3 receptors has been evidenced as one of the main contributors for its weight gain and other metabolic side-effects. Therefore, this study investigated whether the co-treatment of cevimeline (a M3 receptor agonist) could prevent the metabolic side-effects associated with olanzapine medication. Female Sprague Dawley rats were treated orally with olanzapine (2 mg/kg, t.i.d.) and/or cevimeline at 3 dosages (3, 6, 9 mg/kg, t.i.d.), or vehicle for two weeks. Weight gain and food/water intake were measured throughout the drug treatment period. Intraperitoneal glucose tolerance tests and open field tests were conducted. Olanzapine-treated rats demonstrated significantly elevated body weight gain, food intake, feeding efficiency, total white fat mass, liver mass, and plasma triglyceride levels, which could be partly reversed by the co-treatment with cevimeline in a dosage-dependent manner. In general, the body weight gain can only be reversed by the co-treatment of 9 mg/kg cevimeline. The cevimeline co-treatment decreased plasma triglyceride and glucose levels compared with olanzapine only treatment. The results suggested a dosage-dependent effect of cevimeline in ameliorating olanzapine-induced weight gain and metabolic side-effects, which supports further clinical trials using cevimeline to control weight gain and metabolic side-effects caused by antipsychotic medications.