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Lung. 2020 Jan 2. doi: 10.1007/s00408-019-00299-0. [Epub ahead of print]

Circulating P-Selectin Glycoprotein Ligand 1 and P-Selectin Levels in Obstructive Sleep Apnea Patients.

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Department of Pulmonology, Semmelweis University, Tömő utca 25-29, Budapest, Hungary.
Department of Pulmonology, Semmelweis University, Tömő utca 25-29, Budapest, Hungary.
Department of Radiology, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary.



Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterized by chronic intermittent hypoxia which induces inflammation in blood vessels leading to the development of cardiovascular comorbidities. Several studies implicated the role of P-selectin in vascular inflammation of OSA. P-selectin glycoprotein ligand 1 (PSGL-1) is the main activator for P-selectin and is involved in immune cell trafficking. However, PSGL-1 has not been analyzed in OSA. The aim of the study was to investigate plasma PSGL-1 and P-selectin levels to have a deeper understanding on their interaction in obstructive sleep apnea.


Fifty-one untreated patients with OSA and 42 non-OSA controls were recruited. Plasma PSGL-1 levels were determined in evening and morning samples, P-selectin levels were analyzed in morning samples using commercially available ELISA kits. Polysomnography was performed in all participants. OSA was defined by an apnea-hypopnea index ≥ 5/h.


PSGL-1 levels did not differ between controls and OSA patients either in the evening or in the morning. Although, there was no difference between controls (16.9/6.8-40.8 ng/ml) and patients with OSA (19.6/8.4-56.8, p = 0.24), patients with severe OSA had increased plasma P-selectin levels (25.6/8.4-56.8 ng/ml) compared to mild OSA patients (14.1/8.5-35.3 ng/ml, p = 0.006) and controls (p = 0.03).


P-selectin expression relates to disease severity suggesting a pathophysiological role in endothelial cell activation. PSGL-1 levels are unaltered in OSA, suggesting an alternative activation pathway for P-selectin in OSA.


Adhesion molecules; Comorbidities; Sleep apnea; Systemic inflammation


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