Pharmacogenetic Associations of Antipsychotic Drug-Related Weight Gain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Jian Ping Zhang, Todd Lencz, Ryan X. Zhang, Masahiro Nitta, Lawrence Maayan, Majnu John, Delbert G. Robinson, W. Wolfgang Fleischhacker, Rene S. Kahn, Roel A. Ophoff, John M. Kane, Anil K. Malhotra, Christoph U. Correll

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130 Scopus citations


Although weight gain is a serious but variable adverse effect of antipsychotics that has genetic underpinnings, a comprehensive meta-analysis of pharmacogenetics of antipsychotic-related weight gain is missing. In this review, random effects meta-analyses were conducted for dominant and recessive models on associations of specific single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) with prospectively assessed antipsychotic-related weight or body mass index (BMI) changes (primary outcome), or categorical increases in weight or BMI (≥7%; secondary outcome). Published studies, identified via systematic database search (last search: December 31, 2014), plus 3 additional cohorts, including 222 antipsychotic-naïve youth, and 81 and 141 first-episode schizophrenia adults, each with patient-level data at 3 or 4 months treatment, were meta-analyzed. Altogether, 72 articles reporting on 46 non-duplicated samples (n = 6700, mean follow-up = 25.1wk) with 38 SNPs from 20 genes/genomic regions were meta-analyzed (for each meta-analysis, studies = 2-20, n = 81-2082). Eleven SNPs from 8 genes were significantly associated with weight or BMI change, and 4 SNPs from 2 genes were significantly associated with categorical weight or BMI increase. Combined, 13 SNPs from 9 genes (Adrenoceptor Alpha-2A [ADRA2A], Adrenoceptor Beta 3 [ADRB3], Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor [BDNF], Dopamine Receptor D2 [DRD2], Guanine Nucleotide Binding Protein [GNB3], 5-Hydroxytryptamine (Serotonin) Receptor 2C [HTR2C], Insulin-induced gene 2 [INSIG2], Melanocortin-4 Receptor [MC4R], and Synaptosomal-associated protein, 25kDa [SNAP25]) were significantly associated with antipsychotic-related weight gain (P-values <. 05-.001). SNPs in ADRA2A, DRD2, HTR2C, and MC4R had the largest effect sizes (Hedges' g's = 0.30-0.80, ORs = 1.47-1.96). Less prior antipsychotic exposure (pediatric or first episode patients) and short follow-up (1-2 mo) were associated with larger effect sizes. Individual antipsychotics did not significantly moderate effect sizes. In conclusion, antipsychotic-related weight gain is polygenic and associated with specific genetic variants, especially in genes coding for antipsychotic pharmacodynamic targets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1418-1437
Number of pages20
JournalSchizophrenia Bulletin
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • BMI
  • SNP
  • antipsychotics
  • meta-analysis
  • pharmacogenetics
  • weight gain


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