Increased Neuronal Depolarization Evoked by Autoantibodies in Diabetic Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Role for Inflammatory Protease(s) in Generation of Neurotoxic Immunoglobulin Fragment

J Endocrinol Diabetes. 2017;4(1):10.15226/2374-6890/4/1/00168. doi: 10.15226/2374-6890/4/1/00168. Epub 2017 Jan 22.


11 aim: Obstructive sleep apnea increases in diabetes and morbid obesity. We tested a hypothesis that circulating autoantibodies in adult type 2 diabetes which increase in association with morbid obesity are capable of causing long-lasting neuronal depolarization and altered calcium release in mouse atrial cardiomyocytes.

12 methods: Protein-A eluates from plasma of 14 diabetic obstructive sleep apnea patients and 17 age-matched diabetic patients without sleep apnea were tested for effects on depolarization and neurite out growth in N2a mouse neuroblastoma cells. The mechanism of autoantibody-mediated neurite outgrowth inhibition was investigated in co-incubation experiments of diabetic obstructive sleep apnea autoantibodies with specific antagonists of G-protein coupled receptors or the RhoA/Rho kinase signaling pathway. Following long-term storage of the protein-A eluates (to allow spontaneous proteolysis and IgG subunit dissociation), plasma autoantibodies from diabetic obstructive sleep apnea, cancer or control patients were compared for enhancement of inhibitory effects on endothelial cell survival. Size exclusion chromatography performed (in the presence or absence of a specific membrane type 1-matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor) was used to characterize the IgG autoantibody subunit(s) or fragments associated with peak neurotoxicity in diabetic obstructive sleep apnea.

13 results: Diabetic obstructive sleep apnea (n = 14) autoantibodies caused a significant increase (P = 0.01) in membrane depolarization in N2a mouse neuroblastoma cells compared to control diabetic patients (n = 15) not suffering with obstructive sleep apnea. Process extension in N2A mouse neuroblastoma cells was significantly inhibited (P = 0.01) by diabetic obstructive sleep apnea (n = 9) autoantibodies compared to effects from identical 10 μg/mL concentrations of control diabetic autoantibodies in patients without obstructive sleep apnea. Ten micromolar concentrations of SCH-202676, a G-protein coupled receptor antagonist (n = 5) or ten micromolar concentration of Y27632, a selective Rho kinase inhibitor (n = 6), each significantly prevented (P < 0.001) neurite outgrowth inhibition by diabetic obstructive sleep apnea autoantibodies. Autoantibodies in representative patients with obstructive sleep apnea and either atrial fibrillation or left ventricular hypertrophy evoked acute large increases in intracellular Ca2+ in HL-1 mouse atrial cardiomyocytes. The magnitude of intracellular Ca2+ release was dose-dependently significantly correlated to the electrocardiographic Cornell voltage-duration product. Gel filtration of diabetic obstructive sleep apnea autoantibodies revealed peak neurotoxicity associated with MWs corresponding to IgG light chain dimer(s), monomers or half-light chains as well as a novel 5.5 kD putative light chain fragment.

14 conclusions: These results suggest that diabetic obstructive sleep apnea autoantibodies may induce strong depolarization in neuronal cells and alter Ca2+ signaling in atrial cardiomyocytes consistent with a role in pathophysiology in subsets of diabetic obstructive sleep apnea having co-morbid atrial fibrillation or another clinically significant cardiac rhythm disturbance.

Keywords: Atrial fibrillation; Autoantibodies; Diabetes mellitus; Neurotoxicity; Obstructive sleep apnea.