Analysis of systemic and airway inflammation in obstructive sleep apnea
The presence of both systemic and airway inflammation has been suggested in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) by increased levels of inflammatory biomarkers in the circulation and respiratory specimens. We aimed to investigate the relationship between systemic and airway inflammation in OSA.
This study was conducted by simultaneously measuring various biomarkers both in serum and induced sputum of 43 patients. We compared the relationships of these biomarker levels with polysomnographic data and obesity measurements and also investigated their interrelationships between systemic and local compartments. We also assessed the relation of inflammatory markers with proximal airway resistance measured by impulse oscillometry.
In multiple regression analyses, each measured serum biomarker [leptin, interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-8, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)] significantly correlated with waist circumference or fat area determined by computed tomography. In contrast, regarding airway inflammation, sputum IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α, and VEGF significantly correlated with OSA severity as indicated by the respiratory disturbance index or oxygen desaturation indices. Sputum IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α, and VEGF were significantly related to sputum neutrophil number, and sputum IL-8 and TNF-α were related to proximal airway resistance independently of body mass index. There were no significant interrelationships between the same biomarkers in serum and induced sputum.
Systemic and airway inflammation in OSA might be differently regulated by OSA itself and comorbid obesity, depending on the type of cytokine. Although we did not find apparent interrelationships between systemic and local compartments, further studies are needed to clarify this concept.
KeywordsAirway inflammation Airway resistance Induced sputum Obstructive sleep apnea Systemic inflammation
This work was supported in part by grants from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (nos. 22590860 and 22590862) and Respiratory Failure Research Group and Health Science Research Grants (Comprehensive Research on Life-Style Related Diseases including Cardiovascular Diseases and Diabetes Mellitus) from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.
Conflict of interest
The Department of Respiratory Care and Sleep Control Medicine is funded by endowments from Philips-Respironics, Teijin Pharma, and Fukuda Denshi to Kyoto University.
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