Early detection of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is needed to reduce cardiovascular sequelae and mortality. Full-night polysomnography has been used for diagnosing OSA, but it is too expensive and inconvenient for patients to handle. Metabolome-wide analyses were performed to find and validate surrogate markers for OSA. We further investigated the mechanism underlying hypoxic induction of the markers in human cells and mice. Arachidonic acid derivatives 5-HETE and 5-oxoETE were detected in urine samples. The levels (mean ± SD, ng per mg creatinine) of 5-HETE and 5-oxoETE were 56.4 ± 26.2 and 46.9 ± 18.4 in OSA patients, respectively, which were significantly higher than those in controls (22.5 ± 4.6 and 18.7 ± 3.6). Both levels correlated with the apneahypopnea index and the lowest oxygen saturation on polysomnography. After the treatment with the continuous positive airway pressure, the metabolite levels were significantly reduced compared with those before the treatment. In human mononuclear cells subjected to intermittent hypoxia, 5-HETE and 5-oxoETE productions were induced by hypoxia-inducible factor 1 and glutathione peroxidase. When mice were exposed to intermittent hypoxia, 5-HETE and 5-oxoETE were excreted more in urine. They were identified and verified as new OSA markers reflecting hypoxic stress. The OSA markers could be used for OSA diagnosis and therapeutic evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1242
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • 5-HETE
  • 5-oxoETE
  • Hypoxia
  • Metabolomics
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Urine biomarker


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