Objective To test the hypothesis that concentrations of adropin, a recently discovered peptide that displays important metabolic and cardiovascular functions, are lower in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), especially when associated with endothelial dysfunction. Study design Age-, sex-, and ethnicity-matched children (mean age, 7.2 ± 1.4 years) were included into 1 of 3 groups based on the presence of OSA in an overnight sleep study, and on the time to postocclusive maximal reperfusion (Tmax >45 seconds) with a modified hyperemic test. Plasma adropin concentrations were assayed using a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit. Results Among controls, the mean morning adropin concentration was 7.4 ng/mL (95% CI, 5.2-16.3 ng/mL). Children with OSA and abnormal endothelial function (EF) (OSA +/EF+ group) had significantly lower adropin concentrations (2.7 ± 1.1 ng/mL; n = 35) compared with matched controls (7.6 ± 1.4 ng/mL; n = 35; P <.001) and children with OSA and normal EF (OSA+/EF- group; 5.8 ± 1.5 ng/mL; n = 47; P <.001). A plasma adropin concentration <4.2 ng/mL reliably predicted EF status, but individual adropin concentrations were not significantly correlated with age, body mass index z-score, obstructive apnea-hypopnea index, or nadir oxygen saturation. Mean adropin concentration measured after adenotonsillectomy in a subset of children with OSA (n = 22) showed an increase in the OSA +/EF+ group (from 2.5 ± 1.4 to 6.4 ± 1.9 ng/mL; n = 14; P <.01), but essentially no change in the OSA +EF- group (from 5.7 ± 1.3 to 6.4 ± 1.1 ng/mL; n = 8; P >.05). Conclusion Plasma adropin concentrations are reduced in pediatric OSA when endothelial dysfunction is present, and return to within normal values after adenotonsillectomy. Assessment of circulating adropin concentrations may provide a reliable indicator of vascular injury in the context of OSA in children.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
D.G. is supported by National Institutes of Health ( HL-65270 , HL-086662 , and HL-107160 ). The authors declare no conflicts of interest.