Obstructive sleep apnea leads to chronic intermittent hypoxia (CIH) and is associated with atherosclerosis. We have previously shown that C57BL/6J mice exposed to CIH and a high-cholesterol diet develop dyslipidemia, atherosclerosis of the aorta, and upregulation of a hepatic enzyme of lipoprotein secretion, stearoyl coenzyme A desaturase 1 (SCD-1). We hypothesized that (1) SCD-1 deficiency will prevent dyslipidemia and atherosclerosis during CIH; and (2) human OSA is associated with dyslipidemia and upregulation of hepatic SCD. C57BL/6J mice were exposed to CIH or normoxia for 10 weeks while being treated with either SCD-1 or control antisense oligonucleotides. Obese human subjects underwent sleep study and bariatric surgery with intraoperative liver biopsy. In mice, hypoxia increased hepatic SCD-1 and plasma very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and induced atherosclerosis lesions in the ascending aorta (the cross-section area of 156514±57408 μ-m2), and descending aorta (7.0±1.2% of the total aortic surface). In mice exposed to CIH and treated with SCD-1 antisense oligonucleotides, dyslipidemia and atherosclerosis in the ascending aorta were abolished, whereas lesions in the descending aorta showed 56% reduction. None of the mice exposed to normoxia developed atherosclerosis. In human subjects, hepatic SCD mRNA levels correlated with the degree of nocturnal hypoxemia (r=0.68, P=0.001). Patients exhibiting oxyhemoglobin desaturations at night showed higher plasma triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, compared to subjects without hypoxemia. In conclusion, CIH is associated with dyslipidemia and overexpression of hepatic SCD in both humans and mice alike; SCD-1 deficiency attenuates CIH-induced dyslipidemia and atherosclerosis in mice.
- Obstructive sleep apnea
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine