Plasma Levels of Leptin During Treatment With Antipsychotic Drugs



T. Kraus,

M. Haack, A. Schuld, D. Hinze-Selch, M. Kò

hn, T. Pollm¬

cher*. Max Planck Institute of

Psychiatry, Munich, Germany

Leptin is a cytokine produced

by fat cells that signals the size of the adipose tissue to

the brain. The authors investigated whether antipsychotic

treatment with clozapine or olanzapine, that often goes along

with weight gain, affects the plasma levels of leptin.

Therefore weight, the body mass index (BMI) and the plasma

levels of leptin were determined longitudinally across four

weeks in psychiatric inpatients who received clozapine

(N=11), olanzapine (N=8), haloperidon (N=16) or no

psychopharmacologic treatment (N=12).

We found that patients

receiving clozapine or olanzapine showed rapid and

significant increases in weight, BMI and in the plasma levels

of leptin, whereas these measures remained stable in patients

who received haloperidon or no psychopharmacological


In conclusion weight gain

induced by atypical antipsychotics is associated with

increases in leptin plasma levels, that do not occur as a

consequence of treatment with haloperidol or hospitalization

per se. In animals, leptin has behavioral effects and blunts

neurendocrine activation induced by stress. Interestingly

there is some evidence that weight during antipsychotic

treatment correlates to clinical improvement. Therefore, it

seems worthwhile to test the hypothesis that leptin has

psychotropic effects in humans.