NADPH oxidase mediates hypersomnolence and brain oxidative injury in a murine model of sleep apnea

Guanxia Zhan, Faridis Serrano, Polina Fenik, Ray Hsu, Linghao Kong, Domenico Pratico, Eric Klann, Sigrid Carlean Veasey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rationale: Persons with obstructive sleep apnea may have significant residual hypersomnolence, despite therapy. Long-term hypoxia/reoxygenation events in adult mice, simulating oxygenation patterns of moderate-severe sleep apnea, result in lasting hypersomnolence, oxidative injury, and proinflammatory responses in wake-active brain regions. We hypothesized that long-term intermittent hypoxia activates brain NADPH oxidase and that this enzyme serves as a critical source of superoxide in the oxidation injury and in hypersomnolence. Objectives: We sought to determine whether long-term hypoxia/reoxygenation events in mice result in NADPH oxidase activation and whether NADPH oxidase is essential for the proinflammatory response and hypersomnolence. Methods: NADPH oxidase gene and protein responses were measured in wake-active brain regions in wild-type mice exposed to long-term hypoxia/reoxygenation. Sleep and oxidative and proinflammatory responses were measured in adult mice either devoid of NADPH oxidase activity (gp91 phox-null mice) or in which NADPH oxidase activity was systemically inhibited with apocynin osmotic pumps throughout hypoxia/reoxygenation. Main Results: Long-term intermittent hypoxia increased NADPH oxidase gene and protein responses in wake-active brain regions. Both transgenic absence and pharmacologic inhibition of NADPH oxidase activity throughout long-term hypoxia/reoxygenation conferred resistance to not only long-term hypoxia/reoxygenation hypersomnolence but also to carbonylation, lipid peroxidation injury, and the proinflammatory response, including inducible nitric oxide synthase activity in wake-active brain regions. Conclusions: Collectively, these findings strongly support a critical role for NADPH oxidase in the lasting hypersomnolence and oxidative and proinflammatory responses after hypoxia/reoxygenation patterns simulating severe obstructive sleep apnea oxygenation, highlighting the potential of inhibiting NADPH oxidase to prevent oxidation-mediated morbidities in obstructive sleep apnea.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)921-929
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2005


  • Intermittent hypoxia
  • Non-REM sleep
  • Oxidation
  • Peroxynitrite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'NADPH oxidase mediates hypersomnolence and brain oxidative injury in a murine model of sleep apnea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this