Adenosine exhibits a somnogenic effect; however, there is no adenosinergic hypnotic because of cardiovascular effects. This study investigated whether N6-(4-hydroxybenzyl) adenine riboside (T1-11), extracted from Gastrodia elata, produces somnogenic effects in rodents. We determined the involvement of adenosine 2A receptors (A2ARs) in GABAergic neurons of the ventrolateral preoptic area (VLPO) and the cardiovascular effects. Change of cage bedding is employed as a stressor to induce insomnia in rodents, and electroencephalograms and electromyograms were used to acquire and analyse sleep-wake activity. We found that intracerebroventricular administration of T1-11 before a dark period increased non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep during a dark period, and T1-11-induced sleep increases were blocked by the A2AR antagonist, SCH58261, in naïve rats. Oral administration of T1-11 increased NREM sleep during both dark and light periods. Microinjection of the A2AR antagonist, SCH58261, into the VLPO blocked sleep effects of T1-11. In addition to the somnogenic effect in naïve mice, T1-11 suppressed the stress-induced insomnia and this suppressive effect was blocked by SCH58261. C-fos expression in GABAergic neurons of VLPO was increased after administration of T1-11 in Gad2-Cre::Ai14 mice, suggesting the activation of GABAergic neurons in the VLPO. T1-11 exhibited no effects on heart rate and the low frequency/high frequency ratio of heart rate variability. We concluded that T1-11 elicited somnogenic effects and effectively ameliorated acute stress-induced insomnia. The somnogenic effect is mediated by A2ARs to activate GABAergic neurons in the VLPO. This adenosine analogue could be a potential hypnotic because of no sympathetic and parasympathetic effects on the cardiovascular system.© 2020 European Sleep Research Society.
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