Thromboxane A2 (TxA2) and the activation of its receptor have been shown to modulate vasoconstriction and
platelet aggregation as well as dopaminergic and serotonergic signalling. Dopaminergic and serotonergic systems play a
crucial role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and these systems are the main targets of antipsychotics (APs). As the
first antipsychotic (AP) chlorpromazine (CPZ) has already been shown to reduce TxA2, we hypothesized that the AP clozapine
and its metabolite N-desmethylclozapine (NDMC) might also influence TxA2 production.
We measured levels of thromboxane B2 (TxB2), the metabolite of the very unstable molecule TxA2, in unstimulated and
stimulated blood samples of 10 healthy female subjects in a whole blood assay using toxic shock syndrome toxin-1
(TSST-1) and monoclonal antibody against surface antigen CD3 combined with protein CD40 (OKT3/CD40) as stimulants.
Blood was supplemented with the APs CPZ, clozapine or NDMC in one of four different concentrations. Additionally,
thromboxane levels were measured in blood without the addition of APs under different stimulation conditions.
Under TSST-1 as well as OKT3/CD40 stimulation, mean TxB2 concentrations were significantly (p<0.05) decreased by
clozapine over all applied concentrations. NDMC led to a decrease in TxB2 levels under unstimulated conditions as well
as under TSST-1 stimulation. CPZ reduced TxB2 production at low concentrations under unstimulated and TSST-1-
Clozapine, NDMC and CPZ possibly act on neurotransmitter systems via modulation of TxA2 or TxB2 production. Additionally,
known side effects of APs such as orthostatic hypotension may be a result of changes in the concentrations of
TxA2 or TxB2.