Olanzapine increases plasma ghrelin level in patients with schizophrenia.Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2005 Jan; 30(1):106-10.P
Increased appetite and weight gain are frequently reported in treatment with olanzapine. However, the mechanism behind this appetite gain remains unclear. Ghrelin is a newly discovered appetite-stimulating peptide that has a role in the regulation of feeding behavior. Ghrelin is synthesized principally in the stomach, and the concentration of circulating ghrelin is negatively correlated with leptin and body fat mass. To elucidate the mechanism of appetite and weight gain during olanzapine treatment, we investigated the circulating ghrelin levels.
Seven patients with schizophrenia were examined before and after 6-month administration of olanzapine. The concentrations of circulating ghrelin, leptin, glucose and lipid metabolic parameters were measured.
Body fat percentage (P=0.0121) and serum leptin (P=0.0284) were significantly increased after 6-month administration of olanzapine. Both plasma total ghrelin (P=0.0188) and active ghrelin levels (P=0.0057) were significantly increased. Six of the seven patients reported increased appetite during olanzapine treatment. Other glucose and lipid parameters were not altered significantly.
Although, the leptin level and body fat percentage were significantly increased, the concentration of circulating ghrelin was also significantly increased. Olanzapine may directly act on the secretion of ghrelin and induce appetite, resulting in weight gain.