The atypical antipsychotic clozapine impairs insulin secretion by inhibiting glucose metabolism and distal steps in rat pancreatic islets

N. Sasaki, M. Iwase, Y. Uchizono, U. Nakamura, H. Imoto, S. Abe, M. Iida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Aims/hypothesis: Diabetogenic effects of some atypical antipsychotic drugs have been reported, although the mechanisms are not fully understood. We investigated the long-term effects of culturing isolated rat pancreatic islets with atypical antipsychotic clozapine. Methods: Glucose- and non-glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, glucose metabolism and intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) were measured in islets cultured with or without clozapine. Results: Although acute incubation or 3-day culture with clozapine did not affect glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, clozapine suppressed glucose-stimulated insulin secretion by 53.2% at 1.0 μmol/l (therapeutic concentration) after 7 days of culture. Islet glucose oxidation and [Ca2+]i elevation by high glucose were not affected after 3 days of culture, but clozapine significantly inhibited islet glucose oxidation, ATP production, and [Ca2+]i elevation by high glucose after 7 days of culture. Moreover, 7 days of culture with clozapine inhibited insulin secretion stimulated by: (1) membrane depolarisation induced by high K+; (2) protein kinase C activation; and (3) mastoparan at 16.7 mmol/l glucose under stringent Ca2+-free conditions. Elevation of [Ca2+]i by high K +-induced membrane depolarisation was similar in control and clozapine-treated islets. Clozapine, a muscarinic blocker, acutely inhibited carbachol-induced insulin secretion, as did atropine, whereas after 7 days of culture atropine did not have the inhibitory effect shown by clozapine after 7 days. The impairment of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion recovered 3 days after the removal of clozapine treatment. Conclusions/interpretation: The present study demonstrated that the atypical antipsychotic drug clozapine directly impaired insulin secretion via multiple sites including glucose metabolism and the distal step in insulin exocytosis in a long-term culture condition. These mechanisms may be involved in the form of diabetes mellitus associated with atypical antipsychotic drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2930-2938
Number of pages9
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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