AJP-Heart and Circulatory Physiology Podcasts

Sleep Deprivation and Endothelial Function

December 11, 2020

Sleep disorders, such as insomnia, sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome, have acute and chronic negative cardiovascular impacts. Why is so little known about the cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating cardiovascular events in sleep disorders? In this podcast Editor-in-Chief Dr. Irving H. Zucker interviews lead author Dr. Maureen MacDonald (McMaster University) and expert Karyn Esser (University of Florida) about an insightful new Review article by Cherubini et al. MacDonald and co-authors became interested in the affect sleep has on endothelial function while conducting their own exercise physiology studies. Reviewing the literature, Cherubini et al. found that most studies do not control for sleep, yet sleep deprivation – whether acute or chronic, partial or total – can have negative effects on endothelial function in humans. The literature also shows similar results in animal and cell culture models. Because clock mechanisms exist in every human cell type, the understanding of links between so-called “clock genes” and disease progression is an emerging field. How does this relate to the development of atherosclerotic plaques, and the potential for exercise as a therapeutic strategy to combat the negative impact of disordered sleep? Listen now.


Joshua M. Cherubini, Jem L. Cheng, Jennifer S Williams, Maureen J. MacDonald Sleep deprivation and endothelial function: reconciling seminal evidence with recent perspectives  Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, published October 16, 2020. DOI: doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.00607.2020

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