loading page

Inhibition of HCN1 currents by norquetiapine, an active metabolite of the atypical anti-psychotic drug quetiapine
  • Nazzareno D'Avanzo,
  • Amélie Jean Jacques
Nazzareno D'Avanzo
Université de Montréal

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Amélie Jean Jacques
Université de Montréal
Author Profile


Background and Purpose Quetiapine is a second-generation atypical antipsychotic drug that has been commonly prescribed for the treatment of schizophrenia, major depressive disorder (depression), and other psychological disorders. Targeted inhibition of hyperpolarization-activated cyclic-nucleotide gated (HCN) channels, which generate Ih, may provide effective resistance against schizophrenia and depression. We investigated if HCN channels could contribute to the therapeutic effect of quetiapine, and its major active metabolite norquetiapine. Experimental Approach Two-electrode voltage clamp recordings were used to assess the effects of quetiapine and norquetiapine on currents from wild-type and mutant HCN1 and HCN2 expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Key Results Norquetiapine, but not quetiapine nor 7-hydroxy quetiapine, has an inhibitory effect on HCN1 channels. Norquetiapine selectively inhibited HCN1 currents by shifting the voltage-dependence of activation to more hyperpolarized potentials in a concentration-dependent manner with an IC50 of 13.9 ± 0.8 μM for HCN1 and slowing channel opening, without changing the kinetics of closing. Inhibition by norquetiapine primarily occurs from in the closed state. Norquetiapine inhibition is not sensitive to the external potassium concentration, and therefore, likely does not block the pore. Norquetiapine inhibition also does not dependent on the cyclic-nucleotide binding domain. Norquetiapine had no effect on HCN2 channels. Conclusions and Implications HCN channels are key targets of norquetiapine, the primary active metabolite of quetiapine. These data help to explain the therapeutic mechanisms by which quetiapine aids in the treatment of anxiety, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, and may represent a novel structure for future drug design of HCN inhibitors.
14 Nov 2023Submitted to British Journal of Pharmacology
16 Nov 2023Assigned to Editor
16 Nov 2023Submission Checks Completed
16 Nov 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
20 Nov 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned