Novel, safe, and efficient hypnotic compounds capable of enhancing physiological sleep are still in great demand in the therapy of insomnia. This study compares the sleep-wake effects of a new α1 GABAA receptor subunit ligand, GF-015535-00, with those of zolpidem, the widely utilized hypnotic compound.
Nine C57Bl6/J male mice were chronically implanted with electrodes for EEG and sleep-wake monitoring. Each mouse received 3 doses of GF-015535-00 and zolpidem. Time spent in sleep-wake states and cortical EEG power spectra were analyzed.
Both zolpidem and GF-015535-00 prominently enhanced slow wave sleep and paradoxical sleep in the mouse. However, as compared with zolpidem, GF-015535-00 showed several important differences: (1) a comparable sleep-enhancing effect was obtained with a 10 fold smaller dose; (2) the induced sleep was less fragmented; (3) the risk of subsequent wake rebound was less prominent; and (4) the cortical EEG power ratio between slow wave sleep and wake was similar to that of natural sleep and thus compatible with physiological sleep.
The characteristics of the sleep-wake effects of GF-015535-00 in mice could be potentially beneficial for its use as a therapeutic compound in the treatment of insomnia. Further investigations are required to assess whether the same characteristics are conserved in other animal models and humans.
Anaclet C; Zhang M; Zhao C; Buda C; Seugnet L; Lin JS. Effects of GF-015535-00, a novel α1 GABAA receptor ligand, on the sleep-wake cycle in mice, with reference to zolpidem. SLEEP 2012;35(1):103-111.