Obstructive sleep apnea is increasingly recognized as an important contributor to cognitive impairment, metabolic derangements, and cardiovascular disease and mortality. Identifying the mechanisms by which this prevalent disorder influences health outcomes is now of utmost importance. As the prevalence of this disorder steadily increases, therapies are needed to prevent or reverse sleep apnea morbidities now more than ever before. Oxidative stress is implicated in cardiovascular morbidities of sleep apnea. What role oxidative stress plays in neural injury and cognitive impairments has been difficult to understand without readily accessible tissue to biopsy in persons with and without sleep apnea. An improved understanding of the role oxidative stress plays in neural injury in sleep apnea may be developed by integrating information gained examining neural tissue in animal models of sleep apnea with key features of redox biochemistry and clinical sleep apnea studies where extra-neuronal oxidative stress characterizations have been performed. Collectively, this information sets the stage for developing and testing novel therapeutic approaches to treat and prevent, not only central nervous system injury and dysfunction in sleep apnea, but also the cardiovascular and potentially metabolic conditions associated with this prevalent, disabling disorder.
Keywords: neurons, obstructive sleep apnea, superoxide, redox regulation, carbonylation, cardiovascular diseases, intermittent hypoxia
Citation: Zhang J and Veasey S (2012) Making sense of oxidative stress in obstructive sleep apnea: mediator or distracter? Front. Neur. 3:179. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2012.00179
Received: 25 October 2012; Paper pending published: 18 November 2012;
Accepted: 03 December 2012; Published online: 27 December 2012.
Edited by:Pierre-Charles Neuzeret, University of Pennsylvania, USA
Reviewed by:Timo Partonen, University of Helsinki, Finland
Copyright: © 2012 Zhang and Veasey. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.
*Correspondence: Sigrid Veasey, University of Pennsylvania, Translational Research Building, 125 South 31st Street, Philadelphia, PA, USA. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org