Published: 16 July 2020

Authors: Thomaz Fleury Curado, Huy Pho, Carla Freire, Mateus R. Amorim, Jordi Bonaventura, Lenise J. Kim, Rachel Lee, Meaghan E. Cabassa, Stone R. Streeter, Luiz G. Branco, Luiz U. Sennes, Kenneth Fishbein, Richard G. Spencer, Alan R. Schwartz, Michael J. Brennick, Michael Michaelides, David D. Fuller, and Vsevolod Y. Polotsky

Source: This abstract has been sourced from NZ Respiratory Research Review Issue 185


    Rationale: Obstructive sleep apnea is recurrent upper airway obstruction caused by a loss of upper airway muscle tone during sleep. The main goal of our study was to determine if designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADD) could be used to activate the genioglossus muscle as a potential novel treatment strategy for sleep apnea. We have previously shown that the prototypical DREADD ligand clozapine-N-oxide increased pharyngeal diameter in mice expressing DREADD in the hypoglossal nucleus. However, the need for direct brainstem viral injections and clozapine-N-oxide toxicity diminished translational potential of this approach, and breathing during sleep was not examined.

    Objectives: Here, we took advantage of our model of sleep-disordered breathing in diet-induced obese mice, retrograde properties of the adeno-associated virus serotype 9 (AAV9) viral vector, and the novel DREADD ligand J60.

    Methods: We administered AAV9-hSyn-hM3(Gq)-mCherry or control AAV9 into the genioglossus muscle of diet-induced obese mice and examined the effect of J60 on genioglossus activity, pharyngeal patency, and breathing during sleep.

    Measurements and Main Results: Compared with control, J60 increased genioglossus tonic activity by greater than sixfold and tongue uptake of 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-d-glucose by 1.5-fold. J60 increased pharyngeal patency and relieved upper airway obstruction during non-REM sleep.

    Conclusions: We conclude that following intralingual administration of AAV9-DREADD, J60 can activate the genioglossus muscle and improve pharyngeal patency and breathing during sleep.

    Link to Abstract

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