Systematic and Endothelial Inflammation and Endothelial Progenitor Cell Levels in Emphysematous Rats Exposed to Intermittent Hypoxia
BACKGROUND: This study aimed to develop an overlap syndrome rat model with intermittent hypoxia (IH) exposure as seen in obstructive sleep apnea, on a base of preexisting emphysema caused by 16 wk of smoke exposure to determine whether IH and emphysema existing simultaneously play overlapped roles on systematic/endothelial inflammation and endothelial damage. METHODS: Sixty male Wistar rats were divided into 4 groups of 15 each, labeled according to exposure conditions as control, IH,
... and overlap groups. In these animals, electroencephalogram monitoring and preliminary experiments to obtain arterial blood gas values were performed. Serum concentrations of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-␣ and interleukin (IL)-6, TNF-␣ and IL-6 concentrations in the culture medium, Ras homology A mRNA expression levels of endothelial cells from right common carotid artery, and ratio of carotid intima-media thickness of whole thickness of vascular wall expressed in percent (C-IMT) (%) values were evaluated. Subsequently, circulating endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) within rat peripheral blood and bone marrow were measured with flow cytometry. RESULTS: The serum and endothelial concentrations of TNF-␣ and IL-6 and the levels of endothelial Ras homology A mRNA have statistically significant results described as overlap > emphysema > IH > control. The levels of EPCs in rat peripheral blood and bone marrow have statistically significant results described as overlap > IH > emphysema > control. C-IMT (%) values from right common carotid artery are the highest in the overlap group and the lowest in the control group. There is no statistical difference when comparing the IH and the emphysema groups. CONCLUSIONS: Regardless of whether IH and emphysema exposure are mechanistically synergistic, this overlap elicits a more severe systematic/endothelial inflammation and endothelial damage; meanwhile, a robust mobilization of EPCs is demonstrated, which is not to mean a robust adherent and repairing capability.