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Lipids in Health and Disease

, 9:121

First Online: 19 October 2010Received: 27 April 2010Accepted: 19 October 2010


BackgroundIntermittent hypoxia IH, a model of sleep apnea, produces weight loss in animals. We hypothesized that changes in brown adipose tissue BAT function are involved in such phenomenon. We investigated the effect of IH, during 35 days, on body weight, brown adipose tissue wet weight BATww and total protein concentration TPC of BAT.

MethodsWe exposed Balb-c mice to 35 days of IH n = 12 or sham intermittent hypoxia SIH; n = 12, alternating 30 seconds of progressive hypoxia to a nadir of 6%, followed by 30 seconds of normoxia. During 8 hours, the rodents underwent a total of 480 cycles of hypoxia-reoxygenation, equivalent to an apnea index of 60-hour. BAT was dissected and weighed while wet. Protein was measured using the Lowry protein assay.

ResultsBody weight was significantly reduced in animals exposed to IH, at day 35, from 24.4 ± 3.3 to 20.2 ± 2.2 g p = 0.0004, while in the SIH group it increased from 23.3 ± 3.81 to 24.1 ± 2.96 g p = 0.23. BATww was also lower in IH than in SIH group p = 0.00003. TPC of BAT, however, was similar in IH 204.4 ± 44.3 μg-100 μL and SIH groups 213.2 ± 78.7 μg-100 μL; p = 0.74 and correlated neither with body weight nor with BATww. TPC appeared to be unaffected by exposure to IH also in multivariate analysis, adjusting for body weight and BATww. The correlation between body weight and BATww is significant rho= 0.63 for the whole sample. When IH and SIH groups are tested separately, the correlations are no longer significant rho= 0.48 and 0.05, respectively.

ConclusionIH during 35 days in a mice model of sleep apnea causes weight loss, BATww reduction, and no change in TPC of BATww. The mechanisms of weight loss under IH demands further investigation.

AbbreviationsHIIntermittent hypoxia

BATBrown adipose tissue

TPCTotal protein concentration

SIHSham intermittent hypoxia

BATwwBrown adipose tissue wet weight

OSAObstructive sleep apnea

UCP1Uncoupling protein 1

SVSolenoid valve.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1476-511X-9-121 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Denis Martinez - Cintia Z Fiori - Diego Baronio - Alicia Carissimi - Renata SR Kaminski - Lenise J Kim - Darlan P Rosa


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