Phosphoinositide-dependent kinase-1 and protein kinase Cδ contribute to endothelin-1 constriction and elevated blood pressure in intermittent hypoxia. Academic Article uri icon


  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with cardiovascular complications including hypertension. Previous findings from our laboratory indicate that exposure to intermittent hypoxia (IH), to mimic sleep apnea, increases blood pressure in rats. IH also increases endothelin-1 (ET-1) constrictor sensitivity in a protein kinase C (PKC) δ-dependent manner in mesenteric arteries. Because phosphoinositide-dependent kinase-1 (PDK-1) regulates PKCδ activity, we hypothesized that PDK-1 contributes to the augmented ET-1 constrictor sensitivity and elevated blood pressure following IH. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to either sham or IH (cycles between 21% O(2)/0% CO(2) and 5% O(2)/5% CO(2)) conditions for 7 h/day for 14 or 21 days. The contribution of PKCδ and PDK-1 to ET-1-mediated vasoconstriction was assessed in mesenteric arteries using pharmacological inhibitors. Constrictor sensitivity to ET-1 was enhanced in arteries from IH-exposed rats. Inhibition of PKCδ or PDK-1 blunted ET-1 constriction in arteries from IH but not sham group rats. Western analysis revealed similar levels of total and phosphorylated PDK-1 in arteries from sham and IH group rats but decreased protein-protein interaction between PKCδ and PDK-1 in arteries from IH- compared with sham-exposed rats. Blood pressure was increased in rats exposed to IH, and treatment with the PDK-1 inhibitor OSU-03012 [2-amino-N-{4-[5-(2-phenanthrenyl)-3-(trifluoromethyl)-1H-pyrazol-1-yl]-phenyl}-acetamide] (33 mg/day) lowered blood pressure in IH but not sham group rats. Our results suggest that exposure to IH unmasks a role for PDK-1 in regulating ET-1 constrictor sensitivity and blood pressure that is not present under normal conditions. These novel findings suggest that PDK-1 may be a uniquely effective antihypertensive therapy for OSA patients.

publication date

  • January 2013