Cevimeline co-treatment attenuates olanzapine-induced metabolic disorders via modulating hepatic M3 muscarinic receptor: AMPKα signalling pathway in female rats

Publication Name

Journal of Psychopharmacology


Background: Olanzapine is one of the most commonly used antipsychotic drugs; however, its metabolic disorders are the main obstacle in the clinic. Olanzapine is a potent antagonist of the M3 acetylcholine muscarinic receptor (M3R), while the downregulated hepatic M3R-AMPKα signalling pathway is involved in metabolic disorders. Aim: This study investigated the effects of chronic co-treatment with cevimeline (an agonist of M3Rs) in attenuating olanzapine-induced metabolic disorders and the underlying mechanisms. Methods: Forty-eight adult female Sprague-Dawley rats were treated orally with olanzapine (2 mg/kg, 3 times/day (t.i.d.)) and/or cevimeline (9 mg/kg, t.i.d.), or control (vehicle) for 9 weeks. Results: Cevimeline co-treatment significantly attenuated olanzapine-induced body weight gain and glucolipid metabolic disorders. Importantly, cevimeline co-treatment attenuated olanzapine-induced upregulation of M3Rs, while the co-treatment improved olanzapine-induced downregulation of AMPKα in the liver. Cevimeline co-treatment attenuated olanzapine-induced dyslipidaemia by modulating the hepatic M3R-AMPKα downstream pathways. Cevimeline co-treatment also improved lower activated AKT-GSK3β signalling to reverse impairment of glucose metabolism and insulin resistance caused by chronic olanzapine treatment. Conclusion: These results not only support the important role of M3R antagonism and its related AMPKα and downstream pathways in antipsychotic-induced metabolic disorders but also indicate that these pathways might be promising targets for pharmacological intervention to control these side effects caused by antipsychotic therapy.

Open Access Status

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Funding Number


Funding Sponsor

National Health and Medical Research Council



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