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No evidence of enhanced oxidant production in blood obtained from patients with obstructive sleep apnea

Izabela Grabska-Kobylecka1, Andrzej Kobylecki1, Piotr Bialasiewicz1, Maciej Krol1, Golsa Ehteshamirad1, Marek Kasielski2 and Dariusz Nowak1*

Author Affiliations

1 Sleep and Respiratory Disorders Center of the Chair of Experimental and Clinical Physiology, Medical University of Lodz, 92-215 Lodz, Mazowiecka St. 6/8, Poland

2 Bases of Clinical Medicine Teaching Center, Medical University of Lodz, 90-153 Lodz, Kopcinskiego St. 20, Poland

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Journal of Negative Results in BioMedicine 2008, 7:10  doi:10.1186/1477-5751-7-10

Published: 25 November 2008



Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is a recognized risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, perhaps due to causative exacerbations of systemic oxidative stress. Putative oxidative stress related to numerous episodes of intermittent hypoxia, may be an oxidants chief driving force in OSAS patients.


We assessed the resting and n-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLP)- induced whole blood chemiluminescence (as a measure of oxidant production by polymorphonuclear leukocytes and monocytes), ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) and H2O2 generation in the whole blood of 27 untreated OSAS patients, 22 subjects after a night of CPAP therapy and 11 controls without OSAS. All of them were matched to age, BMI (body mass index) and smoking habits. All parameters were measured before and after polysomnography-controlled sleep, individual results were obtained as a mean from duplicated experiments.


No significant differences were distinguished between evening and morning blood chemiluminescence, H2O2 activity and FRAP within and between all three study groups.

For instance patients with untreated OSAS had similar morning and evening resting whole blood chemiluminescence (2.3 +/- 2.2 vs. 2.4 +/- 2.2 [aU·10-4 phagocytes]), total light emission after stimulation with fMLP (1790 +/- 1371 vs. 1939 +/- 1532 [aU·s·10-4 phagocytes]), as well as FRAP after 3 min. plasma incubation (602 +/- 202 vs. 671 +/- 221 [uM]). Although, in the subgroup of 11 patients with severe OSAS (apnea/hypopnea index 58 +/- 18/h and oxygen desaturation index 55 +/- 19/h), the morning vs. evening resting chemiluminescence and total light emission after stimulation with fMLP observed a propensity to elevate 2.5 +/- 2.7 vs. 1.9 +/- 1.8 [aU·10-4 phagocytes] and 1778 +/- 1442 vs. 1503 +/- 1391 [aU·s·10-4 phagocytes], respectively, these did not attain statistical significance (p > 0.05).


Our investigation exposed no evidence in the overproduction of oxidants via circulating phagocytes, once considered a culprit in the oxidative stress of OSAS patients.