Purpose: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterized by chronic intermittent hypoxia which induces inflammation in blood vessels leading to the development of cardiovascular comorbidities. Several studies implicated the role of P-selectin in vascular inflammation of OSA. P-selectin glycoprotein ligand 1 (PSGL-1) is the main activator for P-selectin and is involved in immune cell trafficking. However, PSGL-1 has not been analyzed in OSA. The aim of the study was to investigate plasma PSGL-1 and P-selectin levels to have a deeper understanding on their interaction in obstructive sleep apnea. Methods: Fifty-one untreated patients with OSA and 42 non-OSA controls were recruited. Plasma PSGL-1 levels were determined in evening and morning samples, P-selectin levels were analyzed in morning samples using commercially available ELISA kits. Polysomnography was performed in all participants. OSA was defined by an apnea–hypopnea index ≥ 5/h. Results: PSGL-1 levels did not differ between controls and OSA patients either in the evening or in the morning. Although, there was no difference between controls (16.9/6.8–40.8 ng/ml) and patients with OSA (19.6/8.4–56.8, p = 0.24), patients with severe OSA had increased plasma P-selectin levels (25.6/8.4–56.8 ng/ml) compared to mild OSA patients (14.1/8.5–35.3 ng/ml, p = 0.006) and controls (p = 0.03). Conclusions: P-selectin expression relates to disease severity suggesting a pathophysiological role in endothelial cell activation. PSGL-1 levels are unaltered in OSA, suggesting an alternative activation pathway for P-selectin in OSA.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine