Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) causes many systemic disorders via mechanisms related to sympathetic nerve activation, systemic inflammation, and oxidative stress. OSA typically shows repeated sleep apnea followed by hyperventilation, which results in intermittent hypoxia (IH). IH is associated with an increase in sympathetic activity, which is a well-known pathophysiological mechanism in hypertension and insulin resistance. In this review, we show the basic and clinical significance of IH from the viewpoint of not only systemic regulatory mechanisms focusing on pulmonary circulation, but also cellular mechanisms causing lifestyle-related diseases. First, we demonstrate how IH influences pulmonary circulation to cause pulmonary hypertension during sleep in association with sleep state-specific change in OSA. We also clarify how nocturnal IH activates circulating monocytes to accelerate the infiltration ability to vascular wall in OSA. Finally, the effects of IH on insulin secretion and insulin resistance are elucidated by using an in vitro chamber system that can mimic and manipulate IH. The obtained data implies that glucose-induced insulin secretion (GIS) in pancreatic β cells is significantly attenuated by IH, and that IH increases selenoprotein P, which is one of the hepatokines, as well as TNF-α, CCL-2, and resistin, members of adipokines, to induce insulin resistance via direct cellular mechanisms. Clinical and experimental findings concerning IH give us productive new knowledge of how lifestyle-related diseases and pulmonary hypertension develop during sleep.
Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering