The researchers studied 37 adults who suffer from OSA. Nearly a third were hypertensive. The capacity of their blood vessels to relax was evaluated by Doppler ultrasonography. YKL-40, an ancient molecule that exists in hard-shell creatures and is highly conserved all the way to humans, was found to be elevated exclusively in OSA patients with endothelial dysfunction and hypertension. The dysregulation of YKL-40 is due, in part, to disruption of vascular endothelial growth factor signaling—a signaling protein that helps to create and repair blood vessels. YKL-40 contributes to fibrosis and wound healing, but higher levels are seen in asthma and other inflammatory disorders, and often correlate with disease severity.
“We believe this study provides potential biomarkers for a constellation of disorders related to obstructive sleep apnea, making early diagnosis and successful treatment much more likely,” said senior author Dr. Vahid Mohsenin, professor of medicine in the pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine section of Yale School of Medicine, and a fellow at the John B. Pierce Laboratory.
More information: Jafari B, Elias JA, Mohsenin V (2014) “Increased Plasma YKL-40/Chitinase-3-Like-Protein-1 Is Associated with Endothelial Dysfunction in Obstructive Sleep Apnea.” PLoS ONE 9(5): e98629. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0098629
Originally posted in MedicalXpress