Targeting adipose tissue inflammation by intermittent hypoxia: towards personalised medicine in obstructive sleep apnoea

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a very frequent condition, which is strongly linked with obesity and associated with the development of various heart conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke. It also leads to diseases which are associated with abnormalities in blood glucose levels, such as type 2 diabetes (T2D). It has been proposed that fluctuations in oxygen levels leading to inflammation of the body fat contribute to the development of T2D and similar conditions in OSA. The detailed mechanisms of this process, however, are poorly understood and we hypothesize that a detailed understanding of these pathways will identify novel treatment strategies. To address the principal question of this proposal we will perform a series of experiments using cell culture techniques, a mouse model and studies on OSA patients. In the cell culture and mice studies, we will investigate in detail how body fat reacts to fluctuating oxygen levels. Furthermore, we will test the effectiveness of daily administration of an approved medication which is known to reduce fat inflammation and body weight in patients with OSA. The successful completion of this project will identify the detailed mechanisms underlying fat inflammation and subsequent glucose abnormalities in response to fluctuating oxygen levels and will test the utility of a novel treatment strategy targeting this response and thus, should lead towards personalized therapeutic approaches for patients with OSA.

Award Date
03 July 2017
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Dr Silke Ryan
Host Institution
University College Dublin
Emerging Investigator Awards