Plasma leptin and adiposity during antipsychotic treatment or schizophrenia

Dan W. Haupt, Angela Luber, Justin Maeda, Angela K. Melson, Julie A. Schweiger, John W. Newcomer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Alterations in plasma leptin have been reported in schizophrenia patients treated with antipsychotics, suggesting the hypothesis that impairments in leptin secretion or signaling might play a role in antipsychotic-induced weight gain. Plasma leptin was measured in 72 schizophrenia patients chronically treated with olanzapine (n = 27), risperldone (n = 24) or typical antipsychotics (n = 21) and 124 healthy adult control subjects, ANCOVA was used to test effects of adiposity (body mass index kg/m2; BMI), subject group (treated patients vs untreated controls), and treatment group (specific medication groups and untreated controls) on plasma leptin concentrations. Additional analyses were performed in a subset of patients and controls individually matched for BMI to further assess group differences in plasma leptin independent of adiposity. BMI strongly predicted plasma leptin concentrations in the overall sample. In addition, a significant three-way interaction between BMI, subject group, and gender was observed. In the individually BMI-matched sample, modestly reduced plasma leptin levels (effect size 0.4 SD) were observed in treated patients in comparison to the BMI-matched healthy controls, with both groups including males and females. However, no differences in plasma leptin levels were observed in the matched sample when separately companng male patients vs untreated male controls and female patients vs untreated female controls. Plasma leptin in chronically treated patients with schizophrenia is strongly predicted by adiposity, similar to untreated healthy individuals despite adequate power to detect a difference. The results argue against a role for defective leptin secretion or sensitivity in the weight gain induced by antipsychotic medications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)184-191
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005


  • Antipsychotics
  • Human
  • Leptin
  • Obesity
  • Schizophrenia
  • Weight gain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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