Publications by authors named "Christine Dugovic"

31 Publications

Substituted Azabicyclo[2.2.1]heptanes as Selective Orexin-1 Antagonists: Discovery of JNJ-54717793.

ACS Med Chem Lett 2020 Oct 27;11(10):2002-2009. Epub 2020 Apr 27.

Janssen Research & Development L.L.C., 3210 Merryfield Row, San Diego, California 92121, United States.

The orexin system consists of two neuropeptides (orexin-A and orexin-B) that exert their mode of action on two receptors (orexin-1 and orexin-2). While the role of the orexin-2 receptor is established as an important modulator of sleep wake states, the role of the orexin-1 receptor is believed to play a role in addiction, panic, or anxiety. In this manuscript, we describe the optimization of a nonselective substituted azabicyclo[2.2.1]heptane dual orexin receptor antagonist (DORA) into orally bioavailable, brain penetrating, selective orexin-1 receptor (OX1R) antagonists. This resulted in the discovery of our first candidate for clinical development, JNJ-54717793.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsmedchemlett.0c00085DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7549262PMC
October 2020

Translational evaluation of novel selective orexin-1 receptor antagonist JNJ-61393215 in an experimental model for panic in rodents and humans.

Transl Psychiatry 2020 09 7;10(1):308. Epub 2020 Sep 7.

Janssen Research & Development, LLC, San Diego, CA, USA.

Orexin neurons originating in the perifornical and lateral hypothalamic area project to anxiety- and panic-associated neural circuitry, and are highly reactive to anxiogenic stimuli. Preclinical evidence suggests that the orexin system, and particularly the orexin-1 receptor (OX1R), may be involved in the pathophysiology of panic and anxiety. Selective OX1R antagonists thus may constitute a potential new treatment strategy for panic- and anxiety-related disorders. Here, we characterized a novel selective OX1R antagonist, JNJ-61393215, and determined its affinity and potency for human and rat OX1R in vitro. We also evaluated the safety, pharmacokinetic, and pharmacodynamic properties of JNJ-61393215 in first-in-human single- and multiple-ascending dose studies conducted. Finally, the potential anxiolytic effects of JNJ-61393215 were evaluated both in rats and in healthy men using 35% CO inhalation challenge to induce panic symptoms. In the rat CO model of panic anxiety, JNJ-61393215 demonstrated dose-dependent attenuation of CO-induced panic-like behavior without altering baseline locomotor or autonomic activity, and had minimal effect on spontaneous sleep. In phase-1 human studies, JNJ-61393215 at 90 mg demonstrated significant reduction (P < 0.02) in CO-induced fear and anxiety symptoms that were comparable to those obtained using alprazolam. The most frequently reported adverse events were somnolence and headache, and all events were mild in severity. These results support the safety, tolerability, and anxiolytic effects of JNJ-61393215, and validate CO exposure as a translational cross-species experimental model to evaluate the therapeutic potential of novel anxiolytic drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41398-020-00937-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7477545PMC
September 2020

Putative role of GPR139 on sleep modulation using pharmacological and genetic rodent models.

Eur J Pharmacol 2020 Sep 9;882:173256. Epub 2020 Jun 9.

Department of Neuroscience, Janssen Research & Development, L.L.C, San Diego, CA, USA. Electronic address:

GPR139 is a G-protein coupled receptor expressed in circumventricular regions of the habenula and septum. Amino acids L-tryptophan and L-phenylalanine have been shown to activate GPR139 at physiologically relevant concentrations. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of GPR139 on sleep modulation using pharmacological and genetic (GPR139 knockout mice, KO) rodent models. To evaluate the effects of GPR139 pharmacological activation on sleep, rats were orally dosed with the selective GPR139 agonist JNJ-63533054 (3-30 mg/kg). When acutely administered at the beginning of the light phase, the GPR139 agonist dose-dependently reduced non-rapid eye movement (NREM) latency and increased NREM sleep duration without altering rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. This effect progressively dissipated upon 7-day repeated dosing, suggesting functional desensitization. Under baseline conditions, GPR139 KO mice spent less time in REM sleep compared to their wild type littermates during the dark phase, whereas NREM sleep was not altered. Under conditions of pharmacologically enhanced monoamine endogenous tone, GPR139 KO mice showed a blunted response to citalopram or fluoxetine induced REM sleep suppression and an attenuated response to the wake promoting effect of amphetamine. These findings indicate an emerging role of GPR139 in the modulation of sleep states.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2020.173256DOI Listing
September 2020

Pharmacologic Characterization of JNJ-42226314, [1-(4-Fluorophenyl)indol-5-yl]-[3-[4-(thiazole-2-carbonyl)piperazin-1-yl]azetidin-1-yl]methanone, a Reversible, Selective, and Potent Monoacylglycerol Lipase Inhibitor.

J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2020 03 9;372(3):339-353. Epub 2019 Dec 9.

Janssen Research & Development, LLC, San Diego, California.

The serine hydrolase monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) is the rate-limiting enzyme responsible for the degradation of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) into arachidonic acid and glycerol. Inhibition of 2-AG degradation leads to elevation of 2-AG, the most abundant endogenous agonist of the cannabinoid receptors (CBs) CB1 and CB2. Activation of these receptors has demonstrated beneficial effects on mood, appetite, pain, and inflammation. Therefore, MAGL inhibitors have the potential to produce therapeutic effects in a vast array of complex human diseases. The present report describes the pharmacologic characterization of [1-(4-fluorophenyl)indol-5-yl]-[3-[4-(thiazole-2-carbonyl)piperazin-1-yl]azetidin-1-yl]methanone (JNJ-42226314), a reversible and highly selective MAGL inhibitor. JNJ-42226314 inhibits MAGL in a competitive mode with respect to the 2-AG substrate. In rodent brain, the compound time- and dose-dependently bound to MAGL, indirectly led to CB1 occupancy by raising 2-AG levels, and raised norepinephrine levels in cortex. In vivo, the compound exhibited antinociceptive efficacy in both the rat complete Freund's adjuvant-induced radiant heat hypersensitivity and chronic constriction injury-induced cold hypersensitivity models of inflammatory and neuropathic pain, respectively. Though 30 mg/kg induced hippocampal synaptic depression, altered sleep onset, and decreased electroencephalogram gamma power, 3 mg/kg still provided approximately 80% enzyme occupancy, significantly increased 2-AG and norepinephrine levels, and produced neuropathic antinociception without synaptic depression or decreased gamma power. Thus, it is anticipated that the profile exhibited by this compound will allow for precise modulation of 2-AG levels in vivo, supporting potential therapeutic application in several central nervous system disorders. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: Potentiation of endocannabinoid signaling activity via inhibition of the serine hydrolase monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) is an appealing strategy in the development of treatments for several disorders, including ones related to mood, pain, and inflammation. [1-(4-Fluorophenyl)indol-5-yl]-[3-[4-(thiazole-2-carbonyl)piperazin-1-yl]azetidin-1-yl]methanone is presented in this report to be a novel, potent, selective, and reversible noncovalent MAGL inhibitor that demonstrates dose-dependent enhancement of the major endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol as well as efficacy in models of neuropathic and inflammatory pain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1124/jpet.119.262139DOI Listing
March 2020

Evaluation of JNJ-54717793 a Novel Brain Penetrant Selective Orexin 1 Receptor Antagonist in Two Rat Models of Panic Attack Provocation.

Front Pharmacol 2017 9;8:357. Epub 2017 Jun 9.

Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Indiana University School of Medicine, IndianapolisIN, United States.

Orexin neurons originating in the perifornical and lateral hypothalamic area are highly reactive to anxiogenic stimuli and have strong projections to anxiety and panic-associated circuitry. Recent studies support a role for the orexin system and in particular the orexin 1 receptor (OX1R) in coordinating an integrative stress response. However, no selective OX1R antagonist has been systematically tested in two preclinical models of using panicogenic stimuli that induce panic attack in the majority of people with panic disorder, namely an acute hypercapnia-panic provocation model and a model involving chronic inhibition of GABA synthesis in the perifornical hypothalamic area followed by intravenous sodium lactate infusion. Here we report on a novel brain penetrant, selective and high affinity OX1R antagonist JNJ-54717793 (1S,2R,4R)-7-([(3-fluoro-2-pyrimidin-2-ylphenyl)carbonyl]--[5-(trifluoromethyl)pyrazin-2-yl]-7-azabicyclo[2.2.1]heptan-2-amine). JNJ-54717793 is a high affinity/potent OX1R antagonist and has an excellent selectivity profile including 50 fold versus the OX2R. receptor binding studies demonstrated that after oral administration JNJ-54717793 crossed the blood brain barrier and occupied OX1Rs in the rat brain. While JNJ-54717793 had minimal effect on spontaneous sleep in rats and in wild-type mice, its administration in OX2R knockout mice, selectively promoted rapid eye movement sleep, demonstrating target engagement and specific OX1R blockade. JNJ-54717793 attenuated CO and sodium lactate induced panic-like behaviors and cardiovascular responses without altering baseline locomotor or autonomic activity. These data confirm that selective OX1R antagonism may represent a novel approach of treating anxiety disorders, with no apparent sedative effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2017.00357DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5465257PMC
June 2017

Selective Inhibition of Orexin-2 Receptors Prevents Stress-Induced ACTH Release in Mice.

Front Behav Neurosci 2017 8;11:83. Epub 2017 May 8.

Department of Neuroscience, Janssen Research and Development, L.L.C.San Diego, CA, USA.

Orexins peptides exert a prominent role in arousal-related processes including stress responding, by activating orexin-1 (OX1R) and orexin-2 (OX2R) receptors located widely throughout the brain. Stress or orexin administration stimulates hyperarousal, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone release, and selective OX1R blockade can attenuate several stress-induced behavioral and cardiovascular responses but not the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation. As opposed to OX1R, OX2R are preferentially expressed in the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus which is involved in the HPA axis regulation. In the present study, we investigated the effects of a psychological stress elicited by cage exchange (CE) on ACTH release in two murine models (genetic and pharmacological) of selective OX2R inhibition. CE-induced stress produced a significant increase in ACTH serum levels. Mice lacking the OX2R exhibited a blunted stress response. Stress-induced ACTH release was absent in mice pre-treated with the selective OX2R antagonist JNJ-42847922 (30 mg/kg po), whereas pre-treatment with the dual OX1/2R antagonist SB-649868 (30 mg/kg po) only partially attenuated the increase of ACTH. To assess whether the intrinsic and distinct sleep-promoting properties of each antagonist could account for the differential stress response, a separate group of mice implanted with electrodes for standard sleep recording were orally dosed with JNJ-42847922 or SB-649868 during the light phase. While both compounds reduced the latency to non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep without affecting its duration, a prevalent REM-sleep promoting effect was observed only in mice treated with the dual OX1/2R antagonist. These data indicate that in a psychological stress model, genetic or pharmacological inhibition of OX2R markedly attenuated stress-induced ACTH secretion, as a separately mediated effect from the NREM sleep induction of OX2R antagonism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2017.00083DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5420581PMC
May 2017

Discovery and Characterization of AMPA Receptor Modulators Selective for TARP-γ8.

J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2016 May 17;357(2):394-414. Epub 2016 Mar 17.

Janssen Research and Development, LLC, Neuroscience Therapeutic Area, San Diego, California (M.P.M., N.W., S.R., M.K.A., B.M.S., C.L., B.L., R.M.W., J.A.M., C.D., S.Y., A.D.W., N.I.C., T.W.L.); and Janssen Research and Development, a Division of Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, Neuroscience Therapeutic Area, Beerse, Belgium (L.V.D., T.S.).

Members of the α-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionic acid (AMPA) subtype of ionotropic glutamate receptors mediate the majority of fast synaptic transmission within the mammalian brain and spinal cord, representing attractive targets for therapeutic intervention. Here, we describe novel AMPA receptor modulators that require the presence of the accessory protein CACNG8, also known as transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory protein γ8 (TARP-γ8). Using calcium flux, radioligand binding, and electrophysiological assays of wild-type and mutant forms of TARP-γ8, we demonstrate that these compounds possess a novel mechanism of action consistent with a partial disruption of the interaction between the TARP and the pore-forming subunit of the channel. One of the molecules, 5-[2-chloro-6-(trifluoromethoxy)phenyl]-1,3-dihydrobenzimidazol-2-one (JNJ-55511118), had excellent pharmacokinetic properties and achieved high receptor occupancy following oral administration. This molecule showed strong, dose-dependent inhibition of neurotransmission within the hippocampus, and a strong anticonvulsant effect. At high levels of receptor occupancy in rodent in vivo models, JNJ-55511118 showed a strong reduction in certain bands on electroencephalogram, transient hyperlocomotion, no motor impairment on rotarod, and a mild impairment in learning and memory. JNJ-55511118 is a novel tool for reversible AMPA receptor inhibition, particularly within the hippocampus, with potential therapeutic utility as an anticonvulsant or neuroprotectant. The existence of a molecule with this mechanism of action demonstrates the possibility of pharmacological targeting of accessory proteins, increasing the potential number of druggable targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1124/jpet.115.231712DOI Listing
May 2016

Direct Imaging of Hippocampal Epileptiform Calcium Motifs Following Kainic Acid Administration in Freely Behaving Mice.

Front Neurosci 2016 29;10:53. Epub 2016 Feb 29.

Janssen Research & Development, LLC San Diego, CA, USA.

Prolonged exposure to abnormally high calcium concentrations is thought to be a core mechanism underlying hippocampal damage in epileptic patients; however, no prior study has characterized calcium activity during seizures in the live, intact hippocampus. We have directly investigated this possibility by combining whole-brain electroencephalographic (EEG) measurements with microendoscopic calcium imaging of pyramidal cells in the CA1 hippocampal region of freely behaving mice treated with the pro-convulsant kainic acid (KA). We observed that KA administration led to systematic patterns of epileptiform calcium activity: a series of large-scale, intensifying flashes of increased calcium fluorescence concurrent with a cluster of low-amplitude EEG waveforms. This was accompanied by a steady increase in cellular calcium levels (>5 fold increase relative to the baseline), followed by an intense spreading calcium wave characterized by a 218% increase in global mean intensity of calcium fluorescence (n = 8, range [114-349%], p < 10(-4); t-test). The wave had no consistent EEG phenotype and occurred before the onset of motor convulsions. Similar changes in calcium activity were also observed in animals treated with 2 different proconvulsant agents, N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and pentylenetetrazol (PTZ), suggesting the measured changes in calcium dynamics are a signature of seizure activity rather than a KA-specific pathology. Additionally, despite reducing the behavioral severity of KA-induced seizures, the anticonvulsant drug valproate (VA, 300 mg/kg) did not modify the observed abnormalities in calcium dynamics. These results confirm the presence of pathological calcium activity preceding convulsive motor seizures and support calcium as a candidate signaling molecule in a pathway connecting seizures to subsequent cellular damage. Integrating in vivo calcium imaging with traditional assessment of seizures could potentially increase translatability of pharmacological intervention, leading to novel drug screening paradigms and therapeutics designed to target and abolish abnormal patterns of both electrical and calcium excitation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2016.00053DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4770289PMC
March 2016

GPR139, an Orphan Receptor Highly Enriched in the Habenula and Septum, Is Activated by the Essential Amino Acids L-Tryptophan and L-Phenylalanine.

Mol Pharmacol 2015 Nov 8;88(5):911-25. Epub 2015 Sep 8.

Janssen Research & Development LLC, San Diego, California.

GPR139 is an orphan G-protein-coupled receptor expressed in the central nervous system. To identify its physiologic ligand, we measured GPR139 receptor activity from recombinant cells after treatment with amino acids, orphan ligands, serum, and tissue extracts. GPR139 activity was measured using guanosine 5'-O-(3-[(35)S]thio)-triphosphate binding, calcium mobilization, and extracellular signal-regulated kinases phosphorylation assays. Amino acids L-tryptophan (L-Trp) and L-phenylalanine (L-Phe) activated GPR139, with EC50 values in the 30- to 300-μM range, consistent with the physiologic concentrations of L-Trp and L-Phe in tissues. Chromatography of rat brain, rat serum, and human serum extracts revealed two peaks of GPR139 activity, which corresponded to the elution peaks of L-Trp and L-Phe. With the purpose of identifying novel tools to study GPR139 function, a high-throughput screening campaign led to the identification of a selective small-molecule agonist [JNJ-63533054, (S)-3-chloro-N-(2-oxo-2-((1-phenylethyl)amino)ethyl) benzamide]. The tritium-labeled JNJ-63533054 bound to cell membranes expressing GPR139 and could be specifically displaced by L-Trp and L-Phe. Sequence alignment revealed that GPR139 is highly conserved across species, and RNA sequencing studies of rat and human tissues indicated its exclusive expression in the brain and pituitary gland. Immunohistochemical analysis showed specific expression of the receptor in circumventricular regions of the habenula and septum in mice. Together, these findings suggest that L-Trp and L-Phe are candidate physiologic ligands for GPR139, and we hypothesize that this receptor may act as a sensor to detect dynamic changes of L-Trp and L-Phe in the brain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1124/mol.115.100412DOI Listing
November 2015

Characterization of JNJ-42847922, a Selective Orexin-2 Receptor Antagonist, as a Clinical Candidate for the Treatment of Insomnia.

J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2015 Sep 15;354(3):471-82. Epub 2015 Jul 15.

Janssen Research & Development, LLC, San Diego, California

Dual orexin receptor antagonists have been shown to promote sleep in various species, including humans. Emerging research indicates that selective orexin-2 receptor (OX2R) antagonists may offer specificity and a more adequate sleep profile by preserving normal sleep architecture. Here, we characterized JNJ-42847922 ([5-(4,6-dimethyl-pyrimidin-2-yl)-hexahydro-pyrrolo[3,4-c]pyrrol-2-yl]-(2-fluoro-6-[1,2,3]triazol-2-yl-phenyl)-methanone), a high-affinity/potent OX2R antagonist. JNJ-42847922 had an approximate 2-log selectivity ratio versus the human orexin-1 receptor. Ex vivo receptor binding studies demonstrated that JNJ-42847922 quickly occupied OX2R binding sites in the rat brain after oral administration and rapidly cleared from the brain. In rats, single oral administration of JNJ-42847922 (3-30 mg/kg) during the light phase dose dependently reduced the latency to non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and prolonged NREM sleep time in the first 2 hours, whereas REM sleep was minimally affected. The reduced sleep onset and increased sleep duration were maintained upon 7-day repeated dosing (30 mg/kg) with JNJ-42847922, then all sleep parameters returned to baseline levels following discontinuation. Although the compound promoted sleep in wild-type mice, it had no effect in OX2R knockout mice, consistent with a specific OX2R-mediated sleep response. JNJ-42847922 did not increase dopamine release in rat nucleus accumbens or produce place preference in mice after subchronic conditioning, indicating that the compound lacks intrinsic motivational properties in contrast to zolpidem. In a single ascending dose study conducted in healthy subjects, JNJ-42847922 increased somnolence and displayed a favorable pharmacokinetic and safety profile for a sedative/hypnotic, thus emerging as a promising candidate for further clinical development for the treatment of insomnia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1124/jpet.115.225466DOI Listing
September 2015

Novel Octahydropyrrolo[3,4-c]pyrroles Are Selective Orexin-2 Antagonists: SAR Leading to a Clinical Candidate.

J Med Chem 2015 Jul 8;58(14):5620-36. Epub 2015 Jul 8.

The preclinical characterization of novel octahydropyrrolo[3,4-c]pyrroles that are potent and selective orexin-2 antagonists is described. Optimization of physicochemical and DMPK properties led to the discovery of compounds with tissue distribution and duration of action suitable for evaluation in the treatment of primary insomnia. These selective orexin-2 antagonists are proven to promote sleep in rats, and this work ultimately led to the identification of a compound that progressed into human clinical trials for the treatment of primary insomnia. The synthesis, SAR, and optimization of the pharmacokinetic properties of this series of compounds as well as the identification of the clinical candidate, JNJ-42847922 (34), are described herein.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.5b00742DOI Listing
July 2015

Novel benzamide-based histamine h3 receptor antagonists: the identification of two candidates for clinical development.

ACS Med Chem Lett 2015 Apr 13;6(4):450-4. Epub 2015 Mar 13.

Janssen Pharmaceutical Company, a division of Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development L.L.C. , 3210 Merryfield Row, San Diego, California 92121, United States.

The preclinical characterization of novel phenyl(piperazin-1-yl)methanones that are histamine H3 receptor antagonists is described. The compounds described are high affinity histamine H3 antagonists. Optimization of the physical properties of these histamine H3 antagonists led to the discovery of several promising lead compounds, and extensive preclinical profiling aided in the identification of compounds with optimal duration of action for wake promoting activity. This led to the discovery of two development candidates for Phase I and Phase II clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ml5005156DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4394347PMC
April 2015

Selective pharmacological blockade of the 5-HT7 receptor attenuates light and 8-OH-DPAT induced phase shifts of mouse circadian wheel running activity.

Front Behav Neurosci 2014 15;8:453. Epub 2015 Jan 15.

Neuroscience, Janssen Research and Development, LLC San Diego, CA, USA.

Recent reports have illustrated a reciprocal relationship between circadian rhythm disruption and mood disorders. The 5-HT7 receptor may provide a crucial link between the two sides of this equation since the receptor plays a critical role in sleep, depression, and circadian rhythm regulation. To further define the role of the 5-HT7 receptor as a potential pharmacotherapy to correct circadian rhythm disruptions, the current study utilized the selective 5-HT7 antagonist JNJ-18038683 (10 mg/kg) in three different circadian paradigms. While JNJ-18038683 was ineffective at phase shifting the onset of wheel running activity in mice when administered at different circadian time (CT) points across the circadian cycle, pretreatment with JNJ-18038683 blocked non-photic phase advance (CT6) induced by the 5-HT1A/7 receptor agonist 8-OH-DPAT (3 mg/kg). Since light induced phase shifts in mammals are partially mediated via the modulation of the serotonergic system, we determined if JNJ-18038683 altered phase shifts induced by a light pulse at times known to phase delay (CT15) or advance (CT22) wheel running activity in free running mice. Light exposure resulted in a robust shift in the onset of activity in vehicle treated animals at both times tested. Administration of JNJ-18038683 significantly attenuated the light induced phase delay and completely blocked the phase advance. The current study demonstrates that pharmacological blockade of the 5-HT7 receptor by JNJ-18038683 blunts both non-photic and photic phase shifts of circadian wheel running activity in mice. These findings highlight the importance of the 5-HT7 receptor in modulating circadian rhythms. Due to the opposite modulating effects of light resetting between diurnal and nocturnal species, pharmacotherapy targeting the 5-HT7 receptor in conjunction with bright light therapy may prove therapeutically beneficial by correcting the desynchronization of internal rhythms observed in depressed individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00453DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4295543PMC
February 2015

A selective orexin-1 receptor antagonist attenuates stress-induced hyperarousal without hypnotic effects.

J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2015 Mar 12;352(3):590-601. Epub 2015 Jan 12.

Janssen Research & Development, LLC, San Diego, California (P.B., S.Y., B.T.S., T.P.L., D.N., B.L., M.W., J.S., N.C., T.L., C.D.); and Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana (P.L.J., A.S., S.D.F.).

Orexins (OXs) are peptides produced by perifornical (PeF) and lateral hypothalamic neurons that exert a prominent role in arousal-related processes, including stress. A critical role for the orexin-1 receptor (OX1R) in complex emotional behavior is emerging, such as overactivation of the OX1R pathway being associated with panic or anxiety states. Here we characterize a brain-penetrant, selective, and high-affinity OX1R antagonist, compound 56 [N-({3-[(3-ethoxy-6-methylpyridin-2-yl)carbonyl]-3-azabicyclo[4.1.0]hept-4-yl}methyl)-5-(trifluoromethyl)pyrimidin-2-amine]. Ex vivo receptor binding studies demonstrated that, after subcutaneous administration, compound 56 crossed the blood-brain barrier and occupied OX1Rs in the rat brain at lower doses than standard OX1R antagonists GSK-1059865 [5-bromo-N-({1-[(3-fluoro-2-methoxyphenyl)carbonyl]-5-methylpiperidin-2-yl}methyl)pyridin-2-amine], SB-334867 [1-(2-methyl-1,3-benzoxazol-6-yl)-3-(1,5-naphthyridin-4-yl)urea], and SB-408124 [1-(6,8-difluoro-2-methylquinolin-4-yl)-3-[4-(dimethylamino)phenyl]urea]. Although compound 56 did not alter spontaneous sleep in rats and in wild-type mice, its administration in orexin-2 receptor knockout mice selectively promoted rapid eye movement sleep, demonstrating target engagement and specific OX1R blockade. In a rat model of psychological stress induced by cage exchange, the OX1R antagonist prevented the prolongation of sleep onset without affecting sleep duration. In a rat model of panic vulnerability (involving disinhibition of the PeF OX region) to threatening internal state changes (i.e., intravenous sodium lactate infusion), compound 56 attenuated sodium lactate-induced panic-like behaviors and cardiovascular responses without altering baseline locomotor or autonomic activity. In conclusion, OX1R antagonism represents a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of various psychiatric disorders associated with stress or hyperarousal states.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1124/jpet.114.220392DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4352589PMC
March 2015

Zolpidem reduces hippocampal neuronal activity in freely behaving mice: a large scale calcium imaging study with miniaturized fluorescence microscope.

PLoS One 2014 5;9(11):e112068. Epub 2014 Nov 5.

Janssen Research & Development, LLC, San Diego, California, United States of America.

Therapeutic drugs for cognitive and psychiatric disorders are often characterized by their molecular mechanism of action. Here we demonstrate a new approach to elucidate drug action on large-scale neuronal activity by tracking somatic calcium dynamics in hundreds of CA1 hippocampal neurons of pharmacologically manipulated behaving mice. We used an adeno-associated viral vector to express the calcium sensor GCaMP3 in CA1 pyramidal cells under control of the CaMKII promoter and a miniaturized microscope to observe cellular dynamics. We visualized these dynamics with and without a systemic administration of Zolpidem, a GABAA agonist that is the most commonly prescribed drug for the treatment of insomnia in the United States. Despite growing concerns about the potential adverse effects of Zolpidem on memory and cognition, it remained unclear whether Zolpidem alters neuronal activity in the hippocampus, a brain area critical for cognition and memory. Zolpidem, when delivered at a dose known to induce and prolong sleep, strongly suppressed CA1 calcium signaling. The rate of calcium transients after Zolpidem administration was significantly lower compared to vehicle treatment. To factor out the contribution of changes in locomotor or physiological conditions following Zolpidem treatment, we compared the cellular activity across comparable epochs matched by locomotor and physiological assessments. This analysis revealed significantly depressive effects of Zolpidem regardless of the animal's state. Individual hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells differed in their responses to Zolpidem with the majority (∼ 65%) significantly decreasing the rate of calcium transients, and a small subset (3%) showing an unexpected and significant increase. By linking molecular mechanisms with the dynamics of neural circuitry and behavioral states, this approach has the potential to contribute substantially to the development of new therapeutics for the treatment of CNS disorders.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0112068PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4221229PMC
November 2015

Pharmacological or genetic orexin1 receptor inhibition attenuates MK-801 induced glutamate release in mouse cortex.

Front Neurosci 2014 20;8:107. Epub 2014 May 20.

Janssen Pharmaceutical Research and Development, LLC San Diego, USA.

The orexin/hypocretin neuropeptides are produced by a cluster of neurons within the lateral posterior hypothalamus and participate in neuronal regulation by activating their receptors (OX1 and OX2 receptors). The orexin system projects widely through the brain and functions as an interface between multiple regulatory systems including wakefulness, energy balance, stress, reward, and emotion. Recent studies have demonstrated that orexins and glutamate interact at the synaptic level and that orexins facilitate glutamate actions. We tested the hypothesis that orexins modulate glutamate signaling via OX1 receptors by monitoring levels of glutamate in frontal cortex of freely moving mice using enzyme coated biosensors under inhibited OX1 receptor conditions. MK-801, an NMDA receptor antagonist, was administered subcutaneously (0.178 mg/kg) to indirectly disinhibit pyramidal neurons and therefore increase cortical glutamate release. In wild-type mice, pretreatment with the OX1 receptor antagonist GSK-1059865 (10 mg/kg S.C.) which had no effect by itself, significantly attenuated the cortical glutamate release elicited by MK-801. OX1 receptor knockout mice had a blunted glutamate release response to MK-801 and exhibited about half of the glutamate release observed in wild-type mice in agreement with the data obtained with transient blockade of OX1 receptors. These results indicate that pharmacological (transient) or genetic (permanent) inhibition of the OX1 receptor similarly interfere with glutamatergic function in the cortex. Selectively targeting the OX1 receptor with an antagonist may normalize hyperglutamatergic states and thus may represent a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of various psychiatric disorders associated with hyperactive states.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2014.00107DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4033200PMC
June 2014

Orexin-1 receptor blockade dysregulates REM sleep in the presence of orexin-2 receptor antagonism.

Front Neurosci 2014 14;8:28. Epub 2014 Feb 14.

Neuroscience, Janssen Research & Development, L.L.C. San Diego, CA, USA.

In accordance with the prominent role of orexins in the maintenance of wakefulness via activation of orexin-1 (OX1R) and orexin-2 (OX2R) receptors, various dual OX1/2R antagonists have been shown to promote sleep in animals and humans. While selective blockade of OX2R seems to be sufficient to initiate and prolong sleep, the beneficial effect of additional inhibition of OX1R remains controversial. The relative contribution of OX1R and OX2R to the sleep effects induced by a dual OX1/2R antagonist was further investigated in the rat, and specifically on rapid eye movement (REM) sleep since a deficiency of the orexin system is associated with narcolepsy/cataplexy based on clinical and pre-clinical data. As expected, the dual OX1/2R antagonist SB-649868 was effective in promoting non-REM (NREM) and REM sleep following oral dosing (10 and 30 mg/kg) at the onset of the dark phase. However, a disruption of REM sleep was evidenced by a more pronounced reduction in the onset of REM as compared to NREM sleep, a marked enhancement of the REM/total sleep ratio, and the occurrence of a few episodes of direct wake to REM sleep transitions (REM intrusion). When administered subcutaneously, the OX2R antagonist JNJ-10397049 (10 mg/kg) increased NREM duration whereas the OX1R antagonist GSK-1059865 (10 mg/kg) did not alter sleep. REM sleep was not affected either by OX2R or OX1R blockade alone, but administration of the OX1R antagonist in combination with the OX2R antagonist induced a significant reduction in REM sleep latency and an increase in REM sleep duration at the expense of the time spent in NREM sleep. These results indicate that additional blockade of OX1R to OX2R antagonism elicits a dysregulation of REM sleep by shifting the balance in favor of REM sleep at the expense of NREM sleep that may increase the risk of adverse events. Translation of this hypothesis remains to be tested in the clinic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2014.00028DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3924048PMC
March 2014

Translational evaluation of JNJ-18038683, a 5-hydroxytryptamine type 7 receptor antagonist, on rapid eye movement sleep and in major depressive disorder.

J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2012 Aug 8;342(2):429-40. Epub 2012 May 8.

Janssen Research & Development, LLC, 3210 Merryfield Row, San Diego, CA 92109, USA.

In rodents 5-hydroxytryptamine type 7 (5-HT(7)) receptor blockade has been shown to be effective in models of depression and to increase the latency to rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and decrease REM duration. In the clinic, the REM sleep reduction observed with many antidepressants may serve as a biomarker. We report here the preclinical and clinical evaluation of a 5-HT(7) receptor antagonist, (3-(4-chlorophenyl)-1,4,5,6,7,8-hexahydro-1-(phenylmethyl)pyrazolo[3,4-d]azepine 2-hydroxy-1,2,3-propanetricarboxylate) (JNJ-18038683). In rodents, JNJ-18038683 increased the latency to REM sleep and decreased REM duration, and this effect was maintained after repeated administration for 7 days. The compound was effective in the mouse tail suspension test. JNJ-18038683 enhanced serotonin transmission, antidepressant-like behavior, and REM sleep suppression induced by citalopram in rodents. In healthy human volunteers JNJ-18038683 prolonged REM latency and reduced REM sleep duration, demonstrating that the effect of 5-HT(7) blockade on REM sleep translated from rodents to humans. Like in rats, JNJ-18038683 enhanced REM sleep suppression induced by citalopram in humans, although a drug-drug interaction could not be ruled out. In a double-blind, active, and placebo-controlled clinical trial in 225 patients suffering from major depressive disorder, neither treatment with pharmacologically active doses of JNJ-18038683 or escitalopram separated from placebo, indicating a failed study lacking assay sensitivity. Post hoc analyses using an enrichment window strategy, where all the efficacy data from sites with an implausible high placebo response [placebo group Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) < = 12] and from sites with no placebo response (MADRS > = 28) are removed, there was a clinically meaningful difference between JNJ-18038683 and placebo. Further clinical studies are required to characterize the potential antidepressant efficacy of JNJ-18038683.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1124/jpet.112.193995DOI Listing
August 2012

JNJ-39220675, a novel selective histamine H3 receptor antagonist, reduces the abuse-related effects of alcohol in rats.

Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2011 Apr 18;214(4):829-41. Epub 2010 Nov 18.

Bristol Myers-Squibb, 5 Research Parkway, Wallingford, CT 06492, USA.

Rationale: A few recent studies suggest that brain histamine levels and signaling via H(3) receptors play an important role in modulation of alcohol stimulation and reward in rodents.

Objective: The present study characterized the effects of a novel, selective, and brain penetrant H(3) receptor antagonist (JNJ-39220675) on the reinforcing effects of alcohol in rats.

Methods: The effect of JNJ-39220675 on alcohol intake and alcohol relapse-like behavior was evaluated in selectively bred alcohol-preferring (P) rats using the standard two-bottle choice method. The compound was also tested on operant alcohol self administration in non-dependent rats and on alcohol-induced ataxia using the rotarod apparatus. In addition, alcohol-induced dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens was tested in freely moving rats.

Results: Subcutaneous administration of the selective H(3) receptor antagonist dose-dependently reduced both alcohol intake and preference in alcohol-preferring rats. JNJ-39220675 also reduced alcohol preference in the same strain of rats following a 3-day alcohol deprivation. The compound significantly and dose-dependently reduced alcohol self-administration without changing saccharin self-administration in alcohol non-dependent rats. Furthermore, the compound did not change the ataxic effects of alcohol, alcohol elimination rate, nor alcohol-induced dopamine release in nucleus accumbens.

Conclusions: These results indicate that blockade of H(3) receptor should be considered as a new attractive mechanism for the treatment of alcoholism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00213-010-2092-4DOI Listing
April 2011

Pre-clinical characterization of aryloxypyridine amides as histamine H3 receptor antagonists: identification of candidates for clinical development.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2010 Jul 16;20(14):4210-4. Epub 2010 May 16.

Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development L.L.C., 3210 Merryfield Row, San Diego, CA 92121, USA.

The pre-clinical characterization of novel aryloxypyridine amides that are histamine H(3) receptor antagonists is described. These compounds are high affinity histamine H(3) ligands that penetrate the CNS and occupy the histamine H(3) receptor in rat brain. Several compounds were extensively profiled pre-clinically leading to the identification of two compounds suitable for nomination as development candidates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2010.05.041DOI Listing
July 2010

Novel substituted pyrrolidines are high affinity histamine H3 receptor antagonists.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett 2010 May 20;20(9):2755-60. Epub 2010 Mar 20.

Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development L.L.C., 3210 Merryfield Row, San Diego, CA 92121, United States.

Pre-clinical characterization of novel substituted pyrrolidines that are high affinity histamine H(3) receptor antagonists is described. These compounds efficiently penetrate the CNS and occupy the histamine H(3) receptor in rat brain following oral administration. One compound, (2S,4R)-1-[2-(4-cyclobutyl-[1,4]diazepane-1-carbonyl)-4-(3-fluoro-phenoxy)-pyrrolidin-1-yl]-ethanone, was extensively profiled and shows promise as a potential clinical candidate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2010.03.071DOI Listing
May 2010

Diamine-based human histamine H3 receptor antagonists: (4-aminobutyn-1-yl)benzylamines.

Eur J Med Chem 2009 Oct 13;44(10):4098-106. Epub 2009 May 13.

Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, LLC, San Diego, CA 92121, USA.

A series of (4-aminobutyn-1-yl)benzylamines were prepared and the SAR around three key areas: (1) the amine attached to the butynyl linker (R(3)R(4)N-); (2) the benzylamine moiety (R(1)R(2)N-); and (3) the point of attachment of the benzylamine group (R(1)R(2)N- in the ortho, meta, or para positions) was examined. One compound, 4-[3-(4-piperidin-1-yl-but-1-ynyl)-benzyl]-morpholine (9s) was chosen for further profiling and found to be a selective histamine H(3) antagonist with desirable drug-like properties. Ex vivo receptor occupancy studies established that 9s does occupy H(3) binding sites in the brain of rats after oral administration. Subcutaneous doses of 9s (10mg/kg) given during the natural sleep phase demonstrated robust wake-promoting effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmech.2009.04.049DOI Listing
October 2009

Blockade of orexin-1 receptors attenuates orexin-2 receptor antagonism-induced sleep promotion in the rat.

J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2009 Jul 10;330(1):142-51. Epub 2009 Apr 10.

Neuroscience, Johnson & Johnson PRD, 3210 Merryfield Row, San Diego, CA 92121, USA.

Orexins are peptides produced by lateral hypothalamic neurons that exert a prominent role in the maintenance of wakefulness by activating orexin-1 (OX1R) and orexin-2 (OX2R) receptor located in wake-active structures. Pharmacological blockade of both receptors by the dual OX1/2R antagonist (2R)-2-[(1S)-6,7-dimethoxy-1-{2-[4-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]ethyl}-3,4-dihydroisoquinolin-2(1H)-yl]-N-methyl-2-phenylethanamide (almorexant) has been shown to promote sleep in animals and humans during their active period. However, the selective distribution of OX1R and OX2R in distinct neuronal circuits may result in a differential impact of these receptors in sleep-wake modulation. The respective role of OX1R and OX2R on sleep in correlation with monoamine release was evaluated in rats treated with selective antagonists alone or in combination. When administered in either phase of the light/dark cycle, the OX2R antagonist 1-(2,4-dibromophenyl)-3-[(4S,5S)-2,2-dimethyl-4-phenyl-1,3-dioxan-5-yl]urea (JNJ-10397049) decreased the latency for persistent sleep and increased nonrapid eye movement and rapid eye movement sleep time. Almorexant produced less hypnotic activity, whereas the OX1R antagonist 1-(6,8-difluoro-2-methylquinolin-4-yl)-3-[4-(dimethylamino)phenyl]urea (SB-408124) had no effect. Microdialysis studies showed that either OX2R or OX1/2R antagonism decreased extracellular histamine concentration in the lateral hypothalamus, whereas both OX1R and OX1/2R antagonists increased dopamine release in the prefrontal cortex. Finally, coadministration of the OX1R with the OX2R antagonist greatly attenuated the sleep-promoting effects of the OX2R antagonist. These results indicate that blockade of OX2R is sufficient to initiate and prolong sleep, consistent with the hypothesis of a deactivation of the histaminergic system. In addition, it is suggested that simultaneous inhibition of OX1R attenuates the sleep-promoting effects mediated by selective OX2R blockade, possibly correlated with dopaminergic neurotransmission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1124/jpet.109.152009DOI Listing
July 2009

5-HT7 receptor deletion enhances REM sleep suppression induced by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, but not by direct stimulation of 5-HT1A receptor.

Neuropharmacology 2009 Feb 7;56(2):448-54. Epub 2008 Oct 7.

Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C., Neuroscience, 3210 Merryfield Row, San Diego, CA 92121, USA.

5-HT(7) receptors are involved in REM sleep and possibly in mood disorders. REM sleep suppression and antidepressant-like behavior is observed in 5-HT(7)(-/-) mice and in rats treated with 5-HT(7) receptor antagonists. We recently demonstrated that pharmacological blockade of 5-HT(7) receptors enhances REM sleep suppression and antidepressant-like behavior induced by citalopram in rodents. It has been hypothesized that the effect of citalopram on sleep is essentially mediated by the activation of 5-HT(1A) receptors. The present study investigates the impact of 5-HT(7) receptor gene deletion on the effect of various reuptake inhibitors on REM sleep and probes the role of 5-HT(1A) receptors in this response. Three SSRIs (citalopram, fluoxetine and paroxetine) but not the tricyclic antidepressant desipramine had a significantly stronger REM sleep suppressive effect in 5-HT(7)(-/-) mice compared to 5-HT(7)(+/+) mice. In contrast, REM sleep was similarly reduced in 5-HT(7)(+/+) mice and 5-HT(7)(-/-) mice after treatment with the 5-HT(1A) receptor agonist ipsapirone. Furthermore, both 5-HT(7)(+/+) and 5-HT(7)(-/-) mice displayed the same increase in REM sleep duration produced by the 5-HT(1A) receptor antagonist WAY-100635. These findings indicate that 5-HT(7) receptor deletion augments the effect of various SSRIs on REM sleep suppression and that this effect is distinct from those mediated via 5-HT(1A) receptors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropharm.2008.09.014DOI Listing
February 2009

Pharmacological characterization of JNJ-28583867, a histamine H(3) receptor antagonist and serotonin reuptake inhibitor.

Eur J Pharmacol 2007 Dec 14;576(1-3):43-54. Epub 2007 Aug 14.

Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C., 3210 Merryfield Row, San Diego, CA 92121, USA.

Wake-promoting agents such as modafinil are used in the clinic as adjuncts to antidepressant therapy in order to alleviate lethargy. The wake-promoting action of histamine H(3) receptor antagonists has been evidenced in numerous animal studies. They may therefore be a viable strategy for use as an antidepressant therapy in conjunction with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. JNJ-28583867 (2-Methyl-4-(4-methylsulfanyl-phenyl)-7-(3-morpholin-4-yl-propoxy)-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-isoquinoline) is a selective and potent histamine H(3) receptor antagonist (K(i)=10.6 nM) and inhibitor of the serotonin transporter (SERT) (K(i)=3.7 nM), with 30-fold selectivity for SERT over the dopamine and norepinephrine transporters. After subcutaneous administration, JNJ-28583867 occupied both the histamine H(3) receptor and the SERT in rat brain at low doses (<1 mg/kg). JNJ-28583867 blocked imetit-induced drinking (3-10 mg/kg i.p.), confirming in vivo functional activity at the histamine H(3) receptor and also significantly increased cortical extracellular levels of serotonin at doses of 0.3 mg/kg (s.c.) and higher. Smaller increases in cortical extracellular levels of norepinephrine and dopamine were also observed. JNJ-28583867 (3-30 mg/kg p.o.) showed antidepressant-like activity in the mouse tail suspension test. JNJ-28583867 (1-3 mg/kg s.c.) caused a dose-dependent increase in the time spent awake mirrored by a decrease in NREM. Concomitantly, JNJ-28583867 produced a potent suppression of REM sleep from the dose of 1 mg/kg onwards. JNJ-28583867 has good oral bioavailability in the rat (32%), a half-life of 6.9 h and a C(max) of 260 ng/ml after 10 mg/kg p.o. In summary, JNJ-28583867 is a combined histamine H(3) receptor antagonist-SERT inhibitor with in vivo efficacy in biochemical and behavioral models of depression and wakefulness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2007.08.009DOI Listing
December 2007

Selective blockade of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)7 receptors enhances 5-HT transmission, antidepressant-like behavior, and rapid eye movement sleep suppression induced by citalopram in rodents.

J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2007 May 21;321(2):690-8. Epub 2007 Feb 21.

Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C., 3210 Merryfield Row, San Diego, CA 92121, USA.

Evidence has accumulated supporting a role for 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)7 receptors in circadian rhythms, sleep, and mood disorders, presumably as a consequence of the modulation of 5-HT-mediated neuronal activity. We hypothesized that a selective 5-HT7 receptor antagonist, (2R)-1-[(3-hydroxyphenyl)sulfonyl]-2-[2-(4-methyl-1-piperidinyl)ethyl]-pyrrolidine (SB-269970), should increase activity of 5-HT neurons and potentiate the effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (citalopram). In rats, administration of 3 mg/kg s.c. citalopram alone increased the extracellular concentration of 5-HT. This effect of citalopram on extracellular 5-HT concentration was significantly enhanced by an ineffective dose of SB-269970. Combining this dose of SB-269970 with a low dose of citalopram also resulted in a significant increase in extracellular concentration of 5-HT, suggesting a potentiation of neurochemical effects. In mice, citalopram and SB-269970 dose-dependently decreased immobility time in the tail suspension test. The dose-effect curve of citalopram was shifted leftward by coadministration of an effective dose of SB-269970. Furthermore, combining ineffective doses of citalopram and SB-269970 also resulted in a significant decrease of immobility time in the tail suspension test, suggesting potentiation of antidepressant-like effects. In rats, SB-269970 potentiated the increase of rapid eye movement (REM) latency and the REM sleep decrease induced by citalopram. SB-269970 also reversed the increase in sleep fragmentation induced by citalopram. Rat plasma and brain concentrations of citalopram were not affected by coadministration of SB-269970, arguing for a pharmacodynamic rather than a pharmacokinetic mechanism. Overall, these results indicate that selective blockade of 5-HT7 receptors may enhance the antidepressant efficacy of citalopram and may provide a novel therapy to alleviate sleep disturbances associated with depression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1124/jpet.107.119404DOI Listing
May 2007

Diurnal sex differences in the sleep-wake cycle of mice are dependent on gonadal function.

Sleep 2006 Sep;29(9):1211-23

Neurobiology and Physiology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA.

Study Objectives: Sex is an important determinant of the pathophysiology of several disorders that influence and/or impair sleep-wake regulation. To date, few studies have examined either the role of sex or the gonadal hormones on sleep and wakefulness. The difficulty in performing well-controlled clinical experiments on sex and sleep underscores the need for effective animal models to investigate the influence of the gonadal hormones on sleep-wake states. This study describes the influence of sex on sleep and wakefulness in mice, the primary mammalian genetic model for sleep analysis, and tests the hypothesis that gonadal function drives sex differences in sleep-wake states.

Design: Electroencephalogram/electromyogram sleep-wake patterns were recorded in intact and gonadectomized male and female C57BL/6J mice maintained on a 14-hour light:10-hour dark schedule. Following a 24-hour baseline recording, mice were sleep deprived during the light phase by gentle handling and given a 10-hour recovery opportunity during the immediate dark phase.

Measurements And Results: Intact female mice spent more time awake than intact males during 24 hours of baseline recording at the expense of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. Though the recovery response of NREM sleep was similar between males and females, when examined in reference to baseline levels, females exhibited a more robust recovery response. Gonadectomy in males and females reduced or eliminated the majority of sex differences in sleep architecture and homeostasis.

Conclusions: These data demonstrate that the gonadal hormones influence the amount, distribution, and intensity of sleep but do not account for all sex differences in the sleep-wake cycle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/sleep/29.9.1211DOI Listing
September 2006

Altered sleep regulation in leptin-deficient mice.

Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 2006 Apr 17;290(4):R894-903. Epub 2005 Nov 17.

Northwestern University, Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology, 2205 Tech Dr., Hogan 2-160, Evanston, IL 60208-3520, USA.

Recent epidemiological, clinical, and experimental studies have demonstrated important links between sleep duration and architecture, circadian rhythms, and metabolism, although the genetic pathways that interconnect these processes are not well understood. Leptin is a circulating hormone and major adiposity signal involved in long-term energy homeostasis. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that leptin deficiency leads to impairments in sleep-wake regulation. Male ob/ob mice, a genetic model of leptin deficiency, had significantly disrupted sleep architecture with an elevated number of arousals from sleep [wild-type (WT) mice, 108.2 +/- 7.2 vs. ob/ob mice, 148.4 +/- 4.5, P < 0.001] and increased stage shifts (WT, 519.1 +/- 25.2 vs. ob/ob, 748.0 +/- 38.8, P < 0.001) compared with WT mice. Ob/ob mice also had more frequent, but shorter-lasting sleep bouts compared with WT mice, indicating impaired sleep consolidation. Interestingly, ob/ob mice showed changes in sleep time, with increased amounts of 24-h non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep (WT, 601.5 +/- 10.8 vs. ob/ob, 669.2 +/- 13.4 min, P < 0.001). Ob/ob mice had overall lower body temperature (WT, 35.1 +/- 0.2 vs. ob/ob, 33.4 +/- 0.2 degrees C, P < 0.001) and locomotor activity counts (WT, 25125 +/- 2137 vs. ob/ob, 5219 +/- 1759, P < 0.001). Ob/ob mice displayed an attenuated diurnal rhythm of sleep-wake stages, NREM delta power, and locomotor activity. Following sleep deprivation, ob/ob mice had smaller amounts of NREM and REM recovery sleep, both in terms of the magnitude and the duration of the recovery response. In combination, these results indicate that leptin deficiency disrupts the regulation of sleep architecture and diurnal rhythmicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpregu.00304.2005DOI Listing
April 2006

RBD--an emerging clue to neurodegenerative disorders.

Sleep 2005 Aug;28(8):920-1

Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology, Northwestern University, 2205 Tech Drive, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.

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August 2005

Deletion of the mammalian circadian clock gene BMAL1/Mop3 alters baseline sleep architecture and the response to sleep deprivation.

Sleep 2005 Apr;28(4):395-409

Neurobiology and Physiology, Northwestern University, 2205 Tech Drive Hogan 2-160, Evanston, IL 60208-3520, USA.

Study Objectives: The finding that deletion or mutation of core circadian clock genes in both mice and flies induce unexpected alterations in sleep amount, sleep architecture and the recovery response to sleep deprivation, has led to new insights into functions of the circadian system that extend beyond its role as a regulator of the timing of the sleep-wake cycle. A key transcription factor in the transcriptional/translational feedback loop of mammalian circadian genes is BMAL1/Mop3, a heterodimeric partner to CLOCK. It was previously shown that mice deficient in the BMAL1/Mop3 gene become immediately arrhythmic in constant darkness and have reduced locomotor activity levels under entrained and constant conditions. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that the mammalian BMAL1/Mop3 gene would have regulatory effects on sleep-wake patterns.

Design: In mice with targeted deletion of the BMAL1/Mop3 gene, EEG/EMG sleep-wake patterns were recorded under entrained and free-running conditions as well as following acute (6-hrs) sleep deprivation.

Measurements And Results: Mice homozygous for the BMAL1/Mop3 deletion showed an attenuated rhythm of sleep and wakefulness distribution across the 24-hr period. In addition, these mice showed increases in total sleep time, sleep fragmentation and EEG delta power under baseline conditions, and an attenuated compensatory response to acute sleep deprivation.

Conclusions: These new data strengthen the hypothesis that molecular components of the circadian system play a central role in the generation of sleep and wakefulness beyond just the timing of these behavioral vigilance states.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/sleep/28.4.395DOI Listing
April 2005