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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 9802136, 9 pages
Research Article

Intermittent Hypoxia-Induced Carotid Body Chemosensory Potentiation and Hypertension Are Critically Dependent on Peroxynitrite Formation

1Laboratorio de Neurobiología, Departamento de Fisiología, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, 8330025 Santiago, Chile
2Centro de Investigación Biomédica, Universidad Autónoma de Chile, 8900000 Santiago, Chile
3Dirección de Investigación, Universidad Científica del Sur, Lima, Peru

Received 12 August 2015; Revised 22 September 2015; Accepted 27 September 2015

Academic Editor: Hanjun Wang

Copyright © 2016 Esteban A. Moya et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Oxidative stress is involved in the development of carotid body (CB) chemosensory potentiation and systemic hypertension induced by chronic intermittent hypoxia (CIH), the main feature of obstructive sleep apnea. We tested whether peroxynitrite (ONOO), a highly reactive nitrogen species, is involved in the enhanced CB oxygen chemosensitivity and the hypertension during CIH. Accordingly, we studied effects of Ebselen, an ONOO scavenger, on 3-nitrotyrosine immunoreactivity (3-NT-ir) in the CB, the CB chemosensory discharge, and arterial blood pressure (BP) in rats exposed to CIH. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to CIH (5% O2, 12 times/h, 8 h/day) for 7 days. Ebselen (10 mg/kg/day) was administrated using osmotic minipumps and BP measured with radiotelemetry. Compared to the sham animals, CIH-treated rats showed increased 3-NT-ir within the CB, enhanced CB chemosensory responses to hypoxia, increased BP response to acute hypoxia, and hypertension. Rats treated with Ebselen and exposed to CIH displayed a significant reduction in 3-NT-ir levels (60.8 ± 14.9 versus 22.9 ± 4.2 a.u.), reduced CB chemosensory response to 5% O2 (266.5 ± 13.4 versus 168.6 ± 16.8 Hz), and decreased mean BP (116.9 ± 13.2 versus 82.1 ± 5.1 mmHg). Our results suggest that CIH-induced CB chemosensory potentiation and hypertension are critically dependent on ONOO formation.