Evaluation of the efficacy of the hypocretin/orexin receptor agonists TAK-925 and ARN-776 in narcoleptic orexin/tTA; TetO-DTA mice

Yu Sun, Alok Ranjan, Ryan Tisdale, Shun Chieh Ma, Sunmee Park, Meghan Haire, Jasmine Heu, Stephen R. Morairty, Xiaoyu Wang, Daniel M Rosenbaum, Noelle S. Williams, Jef K. De Brabander, Thomas S. Kilduff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The sleep disorder narcolepsy, a hypocretin deficiency disorder thought to be due to degeneration of hypothalamic hypocretin/orexin neurons, is currently treated symptomatically. We evaluated the efficacy of two small molecule hypocretin/orexin receptor-2 (HCRTR2) agonists in narcoleptic male orexin/tTA; TetO-DTA mice. TAK-925 (1–10 mg/kg, s.c.) and ARN-776 (1–10 mg/kg, i.p.) were injected 15 min before dark onset in a repeated measures design. EEG, EMG, subcutaneous temperature (Tsc) and activity were recorded by telemetry; recordings for the first 6 h of the dark period were scored for sleep/wake and cataplexy. At all doses tested, TAK-925 and ARN-776 caused continuous wakefulness and eliminated sleep for the first hour. Both TAK-925 and ARN-776 caused dose-related delays in NREM sleep onset. All doses of TAK-925 and all but the lowest dose of ARN-776 eliminated cataplexy during the first hour after treatment; the anti-cataplectic effect of TAK-925 persisted into the second hour for the highest dose. TAK-925 and ARN-776 also reduced the cumulative amount of cataplexy during the 6 h post-dosing period. The acute increase in wakefulness produced by both HCRTR2 agonists was characterised by increased spectral power in the gamma EEG band. Although neither compound provoked a NREM sleep rebound, both compounds affected NREM EEG during the second hour post-dosing. TAK-925 and ARN-776 also increased gross motor activity, running wheel activity, and Tsc, suggesting that the wake-promoting and sleep-suppressing activities of these compounds could be a consequence of hyperactivity. Nonetheless, the anti-cataplectic activity of TAK-925 and ARN-776 is encouraging for the development of HCRTR2 agonists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Sleep Research
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • body temperature
  • cataplexy
  • EEG
  • neurodegeneration
  • sleep
  • wake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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