Altered irisin/BDNF axis parallels excessive daytime sleepiness in obstructive sleep apnea patients

Csaba E. More, Csaba Papp, Szilvia Harsanyi, Rudolf Gesztelyi, Angela Mikaczo, Gabor Tajti, Laszlo Kardos, Ildiko Seres, Hajnalka Lorincz, Krisztina Csapo, Judit Zsuga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Study objectives: Obstructive sleep apnea hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS) is a sleep-related breathing disorder, characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), paralleled by intermittent collapse of the upper airway. EDS may be the symptom of OSAHS per se but may also be due to the alteration of central circadian regulation. Irisin is a putative myokine and has been shown to induce BDNF expression in several sites of the brain. BDNF is a key factor regulating photic entrainment and consequent circadian alignment and adaptation to the environment. Therefore, we hypothesized that EDS accompanying OSAHS is reflected by alteration of irisin/BDNF axis. Methods: Case history, routine laboratory parameters, serum irisin and BDNF levels, polysomnographic measures and Epworth Sleepiness Scale questionnaire (ESS) were performed in a cohort of OSAHS patients (n = 69). Simple and then multiple linear regression was used to evaluate data. Results: We found that EDS reflected by the ESS is associated with higher serum irisin and BDNF levels; β: 1.53; CI: 0.35, 6.15; p = 0.012 and β: 0.014; CI: 0.0.005, 0.023; p = 0.02, respectively. Furthermore, influence of irisin and BDNF was significant even if the model accounted for their interaction (p = 0.006 for the terms serum irisin, serum BDNF and their interaction). Furthermore, a concentration-dependent effect of both serum irisin and BDNF was evidenced with respect to their influence on the ESS. Conclusions: These results suggest that the irisin-BDNF axis influences subjective daytime sleepiness in OSAS patients reflected by the ESS. These results further imply the possible disruption of the circadian regulation in OSAHS. Future interventional studies are needed to confirm this observation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number67
JournalRespiratory Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 5 2019



  • BDNF
  • Circadian rhythm
  • ESS
  • Irisin
  • Polysomnography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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