Effect of liraglutide on neural and peripheral markers of metabolic function during antipsychotic treatment in rats

Publication Name

Journal of Psychopharmacology


Background: Liraglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist that prevents metabolic side effects of the antipsychotic drugs (APDs) olanzapine and clozapine through unknown mechanisms. Aim: This study aimed to investigate the effect of chronic APD and liraglutide co-treatment on key neural and peripheral metabolic signals, and acute liraglutide co-treatment on clozapine-induced hyperglycaemia. Methods: In study 1, rats were administered olanzapine (2 mg/kg), clozapine (12 mg/kg), liraglutide (0.2 mg/kg), olanzapine + liraglutide co-treatment, clozapine + liraglutide co-treatment or vehicle for six weeks. Feeding efficiency was examined weekly. Examination of brain tissue (dorsal vagal complex (DVC) and mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH)), plasma metabolic hormones and peripheral (liver and kidney) cellular metabolism and oxidative stress was conducted. In study 2, rats were administered a single dose of clozapine (12 mg/kg), liraglutide (0.4 mg/kg), clozapine + liraglutide co-treatment or vehicle. Glucose tolerance and plasma hormone levels were assessed. Results: Liraglutide co-treatment prevented the time-dependent increase in feeding efficiency caused by olanzapine, which plateaued by six weeks. There was no effect of chronic treatment on melanocortinergic, GABAergic, glutamatergic or endocannabionoid markers in the MBH or DVC. Peripheral hormones and cellular metabolic markers were unaltered by chronic APD treatment. Acute liraglutide co-treatment was unable to prevent clozapine-induced hyperglycaemia, but it did alter catecholamine levels. Conclusion: The unexpected lack of change to central and peripheral markers following chronic treatment, despite the presence of weight gain, may reflect adaptive mechanisms. Further studies examining alterations across different time points are required to continue to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the benefits of liraglutide on APD-induced metabolic side effects.

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Funding Sponsor

Neuroscience Research Australia



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