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The therapeutic potential of thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) and TRH analogs in narcolepsy, a sleep disorder characterized by abnormal rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and daytime sleepiness, was examined using the canine model. The effects of TRH and the biologically stable TRH analogs CG3703, CG3509, and TA0910 on daytime sleep and cataplexy, a symptom of abnormal REM sleep, were assessed using polysomnographic recordings and the food elicited cataplexy test (FECT), respectively. CG3703 (100 and 400 microg/kg, i.v.) and TA0910 (100 and 400 microg/kg, i.v.) significantly increased wakefulness and decreased sleep in narcoleptic canines, whereas TRH (400 and 1600 microg/kg, i.v.) had no significant effect. TRH (25-1600 microg/kg, i.v.) and all three TRH analogs, CG3703 (6. 25-400 microg/kg, i.v., and 0.25-16 mg/kg, p.o.), CG3509 (25-1600 microg/kg, i.v.), and TA0910 (25-1600 microg/kg, i.v.), significantly reduced cataplexy in canine narcolepsy. These compounds did not produce any significant side effects during behavioral assays, nor did they alter free T3 and T4 levels in serum even when used at doses that completely suppressed cataplexy. Although more work is needed to establish the mode of action of TRH analogs on alertness and REM sleep-related symptoms, our results suggest a possible therapeutic application for TRH analogs in human sleep disorders.
View details for Web of Science ID A1997XU78100037
View details for PubMedID 9236248