The effect of obstructive sleep apnea on peripheral blood amino acid and biogenic amine metabolome at multiple time points overnight

Sci Rep. 2021 May 24;11(1):10811. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-88409-y.


There are no clinical studies that have investigated the differences in blood serum metabolome between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients and controls. In a single-center prospective observational study, we compared metabolomic profiles in the serum of OSA patients with apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) ≥ 15/h and control individuals. Peripheral blood was obtained at 3 different time points overnight: 9:00 p.m.; 5:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. We used a targeted approach for detecting amino acids and biogenic amines and analyzed the data with ranked general linear model for repeated measures. We recruited 31 patients with moderate-to-severe OSA and 32 controls. Significant elevations in median concentrations of alanine, proline and kynurenine in OSA patients compared to controls were detected. Significant changes in the overnight dynamics of serum concentrations occurred in OSA: glutamine, serine, threonine, tryptophan, kynurenine and glycine levels increased, whereas a fall occurred in the same biomarker levels in controls. Phenylalanine and proline levels decreased slightly, compared to a steeper fall in controls. The study indicates that serum profiles of amino acid and biogenic amines are significantly altered in patients with OSA referring to vast pathophysiologic shifts reflected in the systemic metabolism.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / blood*
  • Biogenic Amines / blood*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Metabolomics / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Polysomnography
  • Prospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / blood*


  • Amino Acids
  • Biogenic Amines
  • Biomarkers