Obstructive anti snoring (OSA) is just a chronic sleep condition affecting multiple billion people worldwide. Evidence suggests OSA can modify the gut microbiome (GM) and might promote OSA-associated co-morbidities, including diabetes, hypertension and cognitive problems. Researchers from the University of Missouri School of Medicine and MU MEDICAL CARE can see how OSA-related sleep disturbances affect the gut microbiome in mice and how transplanting those gut bacteria into other mice may cause changes to sleep patterns in the recipient mice.
David Gozal, MD, the Marie M. and Harry L. Smith Endowed Chair of Child Health at the MU School of Medicine, said the scholarly study shows the gut microbiome plays an important role in sleep regulation. This ultimately could lead to treatments that target the gut microbiome in humans with OSA.
“By manipulating the gut microbiome, or the byproducts of the gut microbiota, we’d be in a situation to prevent or at the least palliate a number of the consequences of snore,” said Gozal, the lead composer of the scholarly study. “As an example, if we combine continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) with customized probiotics that change the patient’s gut microbiome, we would manage to eliminate a few of the tiredness and fatigue and decrease the odds of the comorbidities related to OSA that affect cognition, memory, heart problems or metabolic dysfunction. If we could do any one of the plain things, then it is a major movement in how we treat OSA forward.”
The study exposed male mice to either room air or intermittent hypoxia — an ailment when the body doesn’t get enough oxygen — built to mimic OSA. After six weeks, researchers collected waste material from every one of the rodents. A third number of mice was divided up and given whether fecal transplant from the mice breathing room air or those confronted with intermittent hypoxia. The transplanted mice underwent sleep recordings for three consecutive days. Researchers found the mice who received transplants from the intermittent hypoxia group slept longer and slept more frequently during their normal amount of wakefulness, suggesting increased sleepiness.
“Here is the first study that evaluated sleep in naïve mice afflicted by a fecal microbiome transplant from mice subjected to intermittent hypoxia,” Gozal said. “The fecal microbiome analysis showed profile differences between your mice transplanted from intermittent hypoxia donor mice versus those confronted with room air, indicating that the transplant altered the GM of the recipient mice.”
Emerging evidence suggests the GM can influence health insurance and sleep quality through the brain-gut microbiome axis (BGMA). The next phase is to examine the mechanism active in the relationship involving the brain and the gut to ascertain how changes in the gut microbiome make a difference sleep structure and, consequently, how OSA can subscribe to co-morbidities.