Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is related to repeated upper airway collapse, intermittent hypoxia, and intestinal barrier dysfunction. The resulting damage to the intestinal barrier may affect or be affected by the intestinal microbiota. A prospective case-control was used, including 48 subjects from Sleep Medicine Center of Nanfang Hospital. Sleep apnea was diagnosed by overnight polysomnography. Fecal samples and blood samples were collected from subjects to detect fecal microbiome composition (by 16S rDNA gene amplification and sequencing) and intestinal barrier biomarkers-intestinal fatty acid-binding protein (I-FABP) and D-lactic acid (D-LA) (by ELISA and colorimetry, respectively). Plasma D-LA and I-FABP were significantly elevated in patients with OSA. The severity of OSA was related to differences in the structure and composition of the fecal microbiome. Enriched Fusobacterium, Megamonas, Lachnospiraceae_UCG_006, and reduced Anaerostipes was found in patients with severe OSA. Enriched Ruminococcus_2, Lachnoclostridium, Lachnospiraceae_UCG_006, and Alloprevotella was found in patients with high intestinal barrier biomarkers. Lachnoclostridium and Lachnospiraceae_UCG_006 were the common dominant bacteria of OSA and intestinal barrier damage. Fusobacterium and Peptoclostridium was independently associated with apnea-hypopnea index (AHI). The dominant genera of severe OSA were also related to glucose, lipid, neutrophils, monocytes and BMI. Network analysis identified links between the fecal microbiome, intestinal barrier biomarkers, and AHI. The study confirms that changes in the intestinal microbiota are associated with intestinal barrier biomarkers among patients in OSA. These changes may play a pathophysiological role in the systemic inflammation and metabolic comorbidities associated with OSA, leading to multi-organ morbidity of OSA.
© 2023. The Author(s).