Influence of intermittent hypoxia on the signal transduction pathways to inflammatory response and circadian clock regulation

Naoto Burioka, Satoru Koyanagi, Yasushi Fukuoka, Fumiyasu Okazaki, Takashi Fujioka, Naoki Kusunose, Masahiro Endo, Hisashi Suyama, Hiroki Chikumi, Shigehiro Ohdo, Eiji Shimizu

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS), characterized by intermittent hypoxia/reoxygenation (IHR), is often associated with changing levels of circulating inflammatory cytokines and causes excessive daytime sleepiness, mood disturbances, and cardiovascular disease. An abnormal rhythm in the expression of circadian clock genes is observed in OSAS patients, and is also implicated in OSAS-related clinical symptoms. IHR-induced signal transduction is thought to underlie OSAS-associated complications. The aim of this study is to elucidate the influence of IHR on signal transduction pathways to inflammatory response and circadian clock regulation. Main methods: To evaluate the direct action of IHR on intracellular signaling, we used a cell culture model to explore the underlying transcriptional events initiated by IHR. Key findings: Treatment of cultured human lung adenocarcinoma epithelial cells (A549) with IHR resulted in the elevation of mRNA levels of an inflammation cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6), due to activation of the signaling pathway of nuclear factor-κB, a potent transcriptional activator of IL-6. On the other hand, the treatment of cells with IHR had little effect on clock gene response element-driven transcription. As a consequence, there was no significant change in mRNA levels of clock genes in IHR-treated cells. Significance: These results suggest that IHR can activate signal transduction to an inflammatory response, but not to circadian clock regulation. The abnormal rhythm in the expression of clock genes in OSAS patients is attributable to the changed levels of circulating factors that have the ability to modulate clock gene expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-378
Number of pages7
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number9-10
Publication statusPublished - Aug 26 2009
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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