What is the role of gene glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in the etiology of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

Updated: Sep 15, 2020
  • Author: Himanshu Wickramasinghe, MD, MBBS; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Answer

GDNF influences ventilatory control. It appears to sense oxygen and carbon dioxide at sleep onset transitions, hence playing a role in CSA. GDNF influences the growth of sensory afferent neurons of the carotid body, influencing responses to hypoxia. Its role extends to influencing the growth of neural pathways that are important for normal respiration, specifically at the A5 nucleus of the ventrolateral pons, a critical area that regulates respiratory pattern generation.


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