Promotion of Sleep by Suvorexant-A Novel Dual Orexin Receptor Antagonist.

06:00 EDT 9th April 2011 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Promotion of Sleep by Suvorexant-A Novel Dual Orexin Receptor Antagonist."

Abstract: Orexins/hypocretins are key neuropeptides responsible for regulating central arousal and reward circuits. Two receptors respond to orexin signaling, orexin 1 receptor (OX(1)R) and orexin 2 receptor (OX(2)R) with partially overlapping nervous system distributions. Genetic studies suggest orexin receptor antagonists could be therapeutic for insomnia and other disorders with disruptions of sleep and wake. Suvorexant (MK-4305) is a potent, selective, and orally bioavailable antagonist of OX(1)R and OX(2)R currently under clinical investigation as a novel therapy for insomnia. Examination of Suvorexant in radioligand binding assays using tissue from transgenic rats expressing the human OX(2)R found nearly full receptor occupancy (>90%) at plasma exposures of 1.1 μM. Dosed orally Suvorexant significantly and dose-dependently reduced locomotor activity and promoted sleep in rats (10, 30, and 100 mg/kg), dogs (1 and 3 mg/kg), and rhesus monkeys (10 mg/kg). Consistent cross-species sleep/wake architecture changes produced by Suvorexant highlight a unique opportunity to develop dual orexin antagonists as a novel therapy for insomnia.


Department of Neuroscience, Merck Research Laboratories, West Point, Pennsylvania, USA.

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Journal of neurogenetics
ISSN: 1563-5260


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Periods of sleep manifested by changes in EEG activity and certain behavioral correlates; includes Stage 1: sleep onset, drowsy sleep; Stage 2: light sleep; Stages 3 and 4: delta sleep, light sleep, deep sleep, telencephalic sleep.

Dyssomnias (i.e., insomnias or hypersomnias) associated with dysfunction of internal sleep mechanisms or secondary to a sleep-related medical disorder (e.g., sleep apnea, post-traumatic sleep disorders, etc.). (From Thorpy, Sleep Disorders Medicine, 1994, p187)

Movements or behaviors associated with sleep, sleep stages, or partial arousals from sleep that may impair sleep maintenance. Parasomnias are generally divided into four groups: arousal disorders, sleep-wake transition disorders, parasomnias of REM sleep, and nonspecific parasomnias. (From Thorpy, Sleep Disorders Medicine, 1994, p191)

A sleep disorder of central nervous system origin characterized by prolonged nocturnal sleep and periods of daytime drowsiness. Affected individuals experience difficulty with awakening in the morning and may have associated sleep drunkenness, automatic behaviors, and memory disturbances. This condition differs from narcolepsy in that daytime sleep periods are longer, there is no association with CATAPLEXY, and the multiple sleep latency onset test does not record sleep-onset rapid eye movement sleep. (From Chokroverty, Sleep Disorders Medicine, 1994, pp319-20; Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 1998 Apr:52(2):125-129)

Conditions characterized by disturbances of usual sleep patterns or behaviors. Sleep disorders may be divided into three major categories: DYSSOMNIAS (i.e. disorders characterized by insomnia or hypersomnia), PARASOMNIAS (abnormal sleep behaviors), and sleep disorders secondary to medical or psychiatric disorders. (From Thorpy, Sleep Disorders Medicine, 1994, p187)


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