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Epigenetics: A Potential Mechanism Involved in the Pathogenesis of Various Adverse Consequences of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

1
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung 83301, Taiwan
2
Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taouyan 33302, Taiwan
3
Department of medical research, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung 83301, Taiwan
4
Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taouyan 33302, Taiwan
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(12), 2937; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20122937
Received: 28 April 2019 / Revised: 9 June 2019 / Accepted: 13 June 2019 / Published: 15 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sleep Apnea and Intermittent Hypoxia)
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Abstract

Epigenetics is defined as the heritable phenotypic changes which do not involve alterations in the DNA sequence, including histone modifications, non-coding RNAs, and DNA methylation. Recently, much attention has been paid to the role of hypoxia-mediated epigenetic regulation in cancer, pulmonary hypertension, adaptation to high altitude, and cardiorenal disease. In contrast to sustained hypoxia, chronic intermittent hypoxia with re-oxygenation (IHR) plays a major role in the pathogenesis of various adverse consequences of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), resembling ischemia re-perfusion injury. Nevertheless, the role of epigenetics in the pathogenesis of OSA is currently underexplored. This review proposes that epigenetic processes are involved in the development of various adverse consequences of OSA by influencing adaptive potential and phenotypic variability under conditions of chronic IHR. Improved understanding of the interaction between genetic and environmental factors through epigenetic regulations holds great value to give deeper insight into the mechanisms underlying IHR-related low-grade inflammation, oxidative stress, and sympathetic hyperactivity, and clarify their implications for biomedical research. View Full-Text
Keywords: obstructive sleep apnea; intermittent hypoxia with re-oxygenation; epigenetics; DNA methylation; histone modification; non-coding RNA obstructive sleep apnea; intermittent hypoxia with re-oxygenation; epigenetics; DNA methylation; histone modification; non-coding RNA
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Chen, Y.-C.; Hsu, P.-Y.; Hsiao, C.-C.; Lin, M.-C. Epigenetics: A Potential Mechanism Involved in the Pathogenesis of Various Adverse Consequences of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 2937.

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