Scientific publications

Forkhead Box P3 Methylation and Expression in Men with Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Mar 23, 2020 | Magazine: International Journal of Molecular Science

Sanz-Rubio D (1), Sanz A (2), Varona L (3), Bolea R (4), Forner M (1,5), Gil AV (1), Cubero P (1), Marin-Oto M (1,6), Martin-Burriel I (2), Marin JM (1,5,7).


Epigenetic changes in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have been proposed as a mechanism for end-organ vulnerability. In children with OSA, Forkhead Box P3 (FOXP3) DNA methylation were associated with inflammatory biomarkers; however, the methylation pattern and its effect in the expression of this gene have not been tested in adults with OSA.


Plasma samples from subjects without comorbid conditions other than OSA were analyzed (the Epigenetics Status and Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Obstructive Sleep Apnea (EPIOSA) Study: NCT02131610). In 16 patients with severe OSA (Apnea-Hypopnea Index-AHI- > 30 events/h) and seven matched controls (AHI < 5), methylation of FOXP3 gen was evaluated by PCR of the promoter and by pyrosequencing of the intron 1 Treg-specific demethylated region (TSDR).

In another 74 patients with OSA (AHI > 10) and 31 controls, we quantified FOXP3 protein expression by ELISA and gene expression by quantitative real-time PCR. C-reactive protein (CRP) and plasma Treg cells were also evaluated.


Neither the levels of the promoter nor the TSDR demethylated region were different between controls and patients with OSA, whether they were grouped by normal or high CRP. FOXP3 protein and mRNA expression did not differ between groups.


FOXP3 methylation or its expression is not altered in adults with OSA, whatever their inflammatory status.

CITA DEL ARTÍCULO  Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Mar 23;21(6). pii: E2233. doi: 10.3390/ijms21062233.