Effects of losartan and allopurinol on cardiorespiratory regulation in obstructive sleep apnoea
Morgan BJ, Teodorescu M, Pegelow DF, et al. Effects of losartan and allopurinol on cardiorespiratory regulation in obstructive sleep apnoea. Exp Physiol. 2018; doi: 10.1113/EP087006.
NEW FINDINGS: What is the central question of this study? In sleep apnoea, a putative link between intermittent hypoxia and hypertension is the generation of oxygen radicals by angiotensin II and xanthine oxidase within the chemoreflex arc and vasculature. We tested whether chemoreflex control of sympathetic outflow, hypoxic vasodilatation and blood pressure are altered by angiotensin blockade (losartan) and/or xanthine oxidase inhibition (allopurinol). What is the main finding and its importance? Both drugs lowered blood pressure without altering sympathetic outflow, reducing chemoreflex sensitivity or enhancing hypoxic vasodilatation. Losartan and allopurinol are effective therapies for achieving blood pressure control in sleep apnoea.
ABSTRACT: Chemoreflex sensitization produced by chronic intermittent hypoxia in rats is attenuated by angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1 R) blockade. Both AT1 R blockade and xanthine oxidase inhibition ameliorate chronic intermittent hypoxia-induced endothelial dysfunction. We hypothesized that treatment with losartan and allopurinol would reduce chemoreflex sensitivity and improve hypoxic vasodilatation in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea. Eighty-six hypertensive patients with apnoea-hypopnoea index ≥25 events h-1 and no other cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal or metabolic disease were randomly assigned to receive allopurinol, losartan or placebo for 6 weeks. Treatment with other medications and/or continuous positive airway pressure remained unchanged. Tests of chemoreflex sensitivity and hypoxic vasodilatation were performed during wakefulness before and after treatment. Ventilation (pneumotachography), muscle sympathetic nerve activity (microneurography), heart rate (electrocardiography), arterial oxygen saturation (pulse oximetry), blood pressure (sphygmomanometry), forearm blood flow (venous occlusion plethysmography) and cerebral flow velocity (transcranial Doppler ultrasound) were measured during eupnoeic breathing and graded reductions in inspired O2 tension. Losartan and allopurinol lowered arterial pressure measured during eupnoeic breathing and exposure to acute hypoxia. Neither drug altered the slopes of ventilatory, sympathetic or cardiovascular responses to acute hypoxia. We conclude that losartan and allopurinol are viable pharmacotherapeutic adjuncts for achieving blood pressure control in hypertensive obstructive sleep apnoea patients, even those who are adequately treated with continuous positive airway pressure.