New Insights into Microgravity and Space Biology

A special issue of Cells (ISSN 2073-4409).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 July 2023) | Viewed by 22679

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Department of Neuroscience, Imaging and Clinical Sciences, University “G. d’Annunzio” of Chieti-Pescara, 66100 Chieti, Italy
Interests: neuronal and skeletal muscle cells differentiation; intracellular Ca2+ dynamics; oxidative stress; live cell imaging; biomaterials; space biology
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue, "New Insights into Microgravity and Space Biology" collects original research articles, reviews, and short communications, aiming 1. to collect the most recent findings on microgravity-induced effects on cells; 2. to highlight possible strategies to protect against the space environment; 3. to discuss possible limits and advantages of experimental approaches (e.g., real or simulated microgravity); and 4. to review the present knowledge of space biology in different cell types (prokaryotes and eukaryotes, animals, and plants).

Dr. Maria A. Mariggiò
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • cell gravity sensing
  • cell shape, cytoskeleton, adhesion
  • microgravity-induced gene expression and regulation
  • cell metabolism, oxidative balance, oxidative stress
  • cell proliferation, differentiation, adaptation under microgravity
  • eukaryotic and prokaryotic behavior at microgravity
  • control of miRNA expression under microgravity
  • epigenetics and microgravity
  • cell sprouting in microgravity
  • microgravity-induced alteration in plants
  • space exploration, real microgravity, and technological opportunities
  • experimental models: microgravity simulators and biological models
  • cell bioreactor development for space laboratories

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

14 pages, 5873 KiB  
Article
Simulated Microgravity Affects Pro-Resolving Properties of Primary Human Monocytes
by Alessandro Leuti, Marina Fava, Niccolò Pellegrini, Giulia Forte, Federico Fanti, Francesco Della Valle, Noemi De Dominicis, Manuel Sergi and Mauro Maccarrone
Cells 2024, 13(1), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13010100 - 03 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1104
Abstract
Space-related stressors such as microgravity are associated with cellular and molecular alterations of the immune and inflammatory homeostasis that have been linked to the disorders that astronauts suffer from during their missions. Most of the research of the past 30 years has consistently [...] Read more.
Space-related stressors such as microgravity are associated with cellular and molecular alterations of the immune and inflammatory homeostasis that have been linked to the disorders that astronauts suffer from during their missions. Most of the research of the past 30 years has consistently established that innate adaptive immune cells represent a target of microgravity, which leads to their defective or dysfunctional activation, as well as to an altered ability to produce soluble mediators—e.g., cytokines/chemokines and bioactive lipids—that altogether control tissue homeostasis. Bioactive lipids include a vast array of endogenous molecules of immune origin that control the induction, intensity and outcome of the inflammatory events. However, none of the papers published so far focus on a newly characterized class of lipid mediators called specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs), which orchestrate the “resolution of inflammation”—i.e., the active control and confinement of the inflammatory torrent mostly driven by eicosanoids. SPMs are emerging as crucial players in those processes that avoid acute inflammation to degenerate into a chronic event. Given that SPMs, along with their metabolism and signaling, are being increasingly linked to many inflammatory disorders, their study seems of the outmost importance in the research of pathological processes involved in space-related diseases, also with the perspective of developing therapeutic countermeasures. Here, we show that microgravity, simulated in the rotary cell culture system (RCCS) developed by NASA, rearranges SPM receptors both at the gene and protein level, in human monocytes but not in lymphocytes. Moreover, RCCS treatment reduces the biosynthesis of a prominent SPM like resolvin (Rv) D1. These findings strongly suggest that not only microgravity can impair the functioning of immune cells at the level of bioactive lipids directly involved in proper inflammation, but it does so in a cell-specific manner, possibly perturbing immune homeostasis with monocytes being primary targets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Microgravity and Space Biology)
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22 pages, 3371 KiB  
Article
Spaceflight Induces Strength Decline in Caenorhabditis elegans
by Purushottam Soni, Hunter Edwards, Taslim Anupom, Mizanur Rahman, Leila Lesanpezeshki, Jerzy Blawzdziewicz, Henry Cope, Nima Gharahdaghi, Daniel Scott, Li Shean Toh, Philip M. Williams, Timothy Etheridge, Nathaniel Szewczyk, Craig R. G. Willis and Siva A. Vanapalli
Cells 2023, 12(20), 2470; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12202470 - 17 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1793
Abstract
Background: Understanding and countering the well-established negative health consequences of spaceflight remains a primary challenge preventing safe deep space exploration. Targeted/personalized therapeutics are at the forefront of space medicine strategies, and cross-species molecular signatures now define the ‘typical’ spaceflight response. However, a lack [...] Read more.
Background: Understanding and countering the well-established negative health consequences of spaceflight remains a primary challenge preventing safe deep space exploration. Targeted/personalized therapeutics are at the forefront of space medicine strategies, and cross-species molecular signatures now define the ‘typical’ spaceflight response. However, a lack of direct genotype–phenotype associations currently limits the robustness and, therefore, the therapeutic utility of putative mechanisms underpinning pathological changes in flight. Methods: We employed the worm Caenorhabditis elegans as a validated model of space biology, combined with ‘NemaFlex-S’ microfluidic devices for assessing animal strength production as one of the most reproducible physiological responses to spaceflight. Wild-type and dys-1 (BZ33) strains (a Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) model for comparing predisposed muscle weak animals) were cultured on the International Space Station in chemically defined media before loading second-generation gravid adults into NemaFlex-S devices to assess individual animal strength. These same cultures were then frozen on orbit before returning to Earth for next-generation sequencing transcriptomic analysis. Results: Neuromuscular strength was lower in flight versus ground controls (16.6% decline, p < 0.05), with dys-1 significantly more (23% less strength, p < 0.01) affected than wild types. The transcriptional gene ontology signatures characterizing both strains of weaker animals in flight strongly corroborate previous results across species, enriched for upregulated stress response pathways and downregulated mitochondrial and cytoskeletal processes. Functional gene cluster analysis extended this to implicate decreased neuronal function, including abnormal calcium handling and acetylcholine signaling, in space-induced strength declines under the predicted control of UNC-89 and DAF-19 transcription factors. Finally, gene modules specifically altered in dys-1 animals in flight again cluster to neuronal/neuromuscular pathways, suggesting strength loss in DMD comprises a strong neuronal component that predisposes these animals to exacerbated strength loss in space. Conclusions: Highly reproducible gene signatures are strongly associated with space-induced neuromuscular strength loss across species and neuronal changes in calcium/acetylcholine signaling require further study. These results promote targeted medical efforts towards and provide an in vivo model for safely sending animals and people into deep space in the near future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Microgravity and Space Biology)
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16 pages, 5088 KiB  
Article
The Study of the Caudal Vertebrae of Thick-Toed Geckos after a Prolonged Space Flight by X-ray Phase-Contrast Micro-CT
by Inna Bukreeva, Victoria I. Gulimova, Yuri S. Krivonosov, Alexey V. Buzmakov, Olga Junemann, Alessia Cedola, Michela Fratini, Laura Maugeri, Ginevra Begani Provinciali, Francesca Palermo, Alessia Sanna, Nicola Pieroni, Victor E. Asadchikov and Sergey V. Saveliev
Cells 2023, 12(19), 2415; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12192415 - 07 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1067
Abstract
The proximal caudal vertebrae and notochord in thick-toed geckos (TG) (Chondrodactylus turneri, Gray, 1864) were investigated after a 30-day space flight onboard the biosatellite Bion-M1. This region has not been explored in previous studies. Our research focused on finding sites most [...] Read more.
The proximal caudal vertebrae and notochord in thick-toed geckos (TG) (Chondrodactylus turneri, Gray, 1864) were investigated after a 30-day space flight onboard the biosatellite Bion-M1. This region has not been explored in previous studies. Our research focused on finding sites most affected by demineralization caused by microgravity (G0). We used X-ray phase-contrast tomography to study TG samples without invasive prior preparation to clarify our previous findings on the resistance of TG’s bones to demineralization in G0. The results of the present study confirmed that geckos are capable of preserving bone mass after flight, as neither cortical nor trabecular bone volume fraction showed statistically significant changes after flight. On the other hand, we observed a clear decrease in the mineralization of the notochordal septum and a substantial rise in intercentrum volume following the flight. To monitor TG’s mineral metabolism in G0, we propose to measure the volume of mineralized tissue in the notochordal septum. This technique holds promise as a sensitive approach to track the demineralization process in G0, given that the volume of calcification within the septum is limited, making it easy to detect even slight changes in mineral content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Microgravity and Space Biology)
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20 pages, 3993 KiB  
Article
Simulated Microgravity Exposure Induces Antioxidant Barrier Deregulation and Mitochondria Enlargement in TCam-2 Cell Spheroids
by Marika Berardini, Luisa Gesualdi, Caterina Morabito, Francesca Ferranti, Anna Reale, Michele Zampieri, Katsiaryna Karpach, Antonella Tinari, Lucia Bertuccini, Simone Guarnieri, Angela Catizone, Maria A. Mariggiò and Giulia Ricci
Cells 2023, 12(16), 2106; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12162106 - 19 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1218
Abstract
One of the hallmarks of microgravity-induced effects in several cellular models is represented by the alteration of oxidative balance with the consequent accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). It is well known that male germ cells are sensitive to oxidative stress and to [...] Read more.
One of the hallmarks of microgravity-induced effects in several cellular models is represented by the alteration of oxidative balance with the consequent accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). It is well known that male germ cells are sensitive to oxidative stress and to changes in gravitational force, even though published data on germ cell models are scarce. We previously studied the effects of simulated microgravity (s-microgravity) on a 2D cultured TCam-2 seminoma-derived cell line, considered the only human cell line available to study in vitro mitotically active human male germ cells. In this study, we used a corresponding TCam-2 3D cell culture model that mimics cell–cell contacts in organ tissue to test the possible effects induced by s-microgravity exposure. TCam-2 cell spheroids were cultured for 24 h under unitary gravity (Ctr) or s-microgravity conditions, the latter obtained using a random positioning machine (RPM). A significant increase in intracellular ROS and mitochondria superoxide anion levels was observed after RPM exposure. In line with these results, a trend of protein and lipid oxidation increase and increased pCAMKII expression levels were observed after RPM exposure. The ultrastructural analysis via transmission electron microscopy revealed that RPM-exposed mitochondria appeared enlarged and, even if seldom, disrupted. Notably, even the expression of the main enzymes involved in the redox homeostasis appears modulated by RPM exposure in a compensatory way, with GPX1, NCF1, and CYBB being downregulated, whereas NOX4 and HMOX1 are upregulated. Interestingly, HMOX1 is involved in the heme catabolism of mitochondria cytochromes, and therefore the positive modulation of this marker can be associated with the observed mitochondria alteration. Altogether, these data demonstrate TCam-2 spheroid sensitivity to acute s-microgravity exposure and indicate the capability of these cells to trigger compensatory mechanisms that allow them to overcome the exposure to altered gravitational force. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Microgravity and Space Biology)
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11 pages, 1383 KiB  
Article
Staphylococcus aureus Sensitivity to Membrane Disrupting Antibacterials Is Increased under Microgravity
by Hyochan Jang, Seong Yeol Choi and Robert J. Mitchell
Cells 2023, 12(14), 1907; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12141907 - 21 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1505
Abstract
In a survey of the International Space Station (ISS), the most common pathogenic bacterium identified in samples from the air, water and surfaces was Staphylococcus aureus. While growth under microgravity is known to cause physiological changes in microbial pathogens, including shifts in [...] Read more.
In a survey of the International Space Station (ISS), the most common pathogenic bacterium identified in samples from the air, water and surfaces was Staphylococcus aureus. While growth under microgravity is known to cause physiological changes in microbial pathogens, including shifts in antibacterial sensitivity, its impact on S. aureus is not well understood. Using high-aspect ratio vessels (HARVs) to generate simulated microgravity (SMG) conditions in the lab, we found S. aureus lipid profiles are altered significantly, with a higher presence of branch-chained fatty acids (BCFAs) (14.8% to 35.4%) with a concomitant reduction (41.3% to 31.4%) in straight-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) under SMG. This shift significantly increased the sensitivity of this pathogen to daptomycin, a membrane-acting antibiotic, leading to 12.1-fold better killing under SMG. Comparative assays with two additional compounds, i.e., SDS and violacein, confirmed S. aureus is more susceptible to membrane-disrupting agents, with 0.04% SDS and 0.6 mg/L violacein resulting in 22.9- and 12.8-fold better killing in SMG than normal gravity, respectively. As humankind seeks to establish permanent colonies in space, these results demonstrate the increased potency of membrane-active antibacterials to control the presence and spread of S. aureus, and potentially other pathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Microgravity and Space Biology)
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18 pages, 3023 KiB  
Article
The Mechanoreception in Drosophila melanogaster Oocyte under Modeling Micro- and Hypergravity
by Irina V. Ogneva
Cells 2023, 12(14), 1819; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12141819 - 10 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 960
Abstract
The hypothesis about the role of the cortical cytoskeleton as the primary mechanosensor was tested. Drosophila melanogaster oocytes were exposed to simulated microgravity (by 3D clinorotation in random directions with 4 rotations per minute—sµg group) and hypergravity at the 2 g level (by [...] Read more.
The hypothesis about the role of the cortical cytoskeleton as the primary mechanosensor was tested. Drosophila melanogaster oocytes were exposed to simulated microgravity (by 3D clinorotation in random directions with 4 rotations per minute—sµg group) and hypergravity at the 2 g level (by centrifugal force from one axis rotation—hg group) for 30, 90, and 210 min without and with cytochalasin B, colchicine, acrylamide, and calyculin A. Cell stiffness was measured by atomic force microscopy, protein content in the membrane and cytoplasmic fractions by Western blotting, and cellular respiration by polarography. The obtained results indicate that the stiffness of the cortical cytoskeleton of Drosophila melanogaster oocytes decreases in simulated micro- (after 90 min) and hypergravity (after 30 min), possibly due to intermediate filaments. The cell stiffness recovered after 210 min in the hg group, but intact microtubules were required for this. Already after 30 min of exposure to sµg, the cross-sectional area of oocytes decreased, which indicates deformation, and the singed protein, which organizes microfilaments into longitudinal bundles, diffused from the cortical cytoskeleton into the cytoplasm. Under hg, after 30 min, the cross-sectional area of the oocytes increased, and the proteins that organize filament networks, alpha-actinin and spectrin, diffused from the cortical cytoskeleton. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Microgravity and Space Biology)
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18 pages, 2679 KiB  
Article
Hypergravity Increases Blood–Brain Barrier Permeability to Fluorescent Dextran and Antisense Oligonucleotide in Mice
by David Dubayle, Arnaud Vanden-Bossche, Tom Peixoto and Jean-Luc Morel
Cells 2023, 12(5), 734; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12050734 - 24 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2373
Abstract
The earliest effect of spaceflight is an alteration in vestibular function due to microgravity. Hypergravity exposure induced by centrifugation is also able to provoke motion sickness. The blood–brain barrier (BBB) is the crucial interface between the vascular system and the brain to ensure [...] Read more.
The earliest effect of spaceflight is an alteration in vestibular function due to microgravity. Hypergravity exposure induced by centrifugation is also able to provoke motion sickness. The blood–brain barrier (BBB) is the crucial interface between the vascular system and the brain to ensure efficient neuronal activity. We developed experimental protocols of hypergravity on C57Bl/6JRJ mice to induce motion sickness and reveal its effects on the BBB. Mice were centrifuged at 2× g for 24 h. Fluorescent dextrans with different sizes (40, 70 and 150 kDa) and fluorescent antisense oligonucleotides (AS) were injected into mice retro-orbitally. The presence of fluorescent molecules was revealed by epifluorescence and confocal microscopies in brain slices. Gene expression was evaluated by RT-qPCR from brain extracts. Only the 70 kDa dextran and AS were detected in the parenchyma of several brain regions, suggesting an alteration in the BBB. Moreover, Ctnnd1, Gja4 and Actn1 were upregulated, whereas Jup, Tjp2, Gja1, Actn2, Actn4, Cdh2 and Ocln genes were downregulated, specifically suggesting a dysregulation in the tight junctions of endothelial cells forming the BBB. Our results confirm the alteration in the BBB after a short period of hypergravity exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Microgravity and Space Biology)
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20 pages, 6623 KiB  
Article
Role of SIRT3 in Microgravity Response: A New Player in Muscle Tissue Recovery
by Michele Aventaggiato, Federica Barreca, Laura Vitiello, Simone Vespa, Sergio Valente, Dante Rotili, Antonello Mai, Lavinia Vittoria Lotti, Luigi Sansone, Matteo A. Russo, Mariano Bizzarri, Elisabetta Ferretti and Marco Tafani
Cells 2023, 12(5), 691; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12050691 - 22 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1548
Abstract
Life on Earth has evolved in the presence of a gravity constraint. Any change in the value of such a constraint has important physiological effects. Gravity reduction (microgravity) alters the performance of muscle, bone and, immune systems among others. Therefore, countermeasures to limit [...] Read more.
Life on Earth has evolved in the presence of a gravity constraint. Any change in the value of such a constraint has important physiological effects. Gravity reduction (microgravity) alters the performance of muscle, bone and, immune systems among others. Therefore, countermeasures to limit such deleterious effects of microgravity are needed considering future Lunar and Martian missions. Our study aims to demonstrate that the activation of mitochondrial Sirtuin 3 (SIRT3) can be exploited to reduce muscle damage and to maintain muscle differentiation following microgravity exposure. To this effect, we used a RCCS machine to simulate microgravity on ground on a muscle and cardiac cell line. During microgravity, cells were treated with a newly synthesized SIRT3 activator, called MC2791 and vitality, differentiation, ROS and, autophagy/mitophagy were measured. Our results indicate that SIRT3 activation reduces microgravity-induced cell death while maintaining the expression of muscle cell differentiation markers. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that SIRT3 activation could represent a targeted molecular strategy to reduce muscle tissue damage caused by microgravity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Microgravity and Space Biology)
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32 pages, 5189 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Combined Exposure to Simulated Microgravity, Ionizing Radiation, and Cortisol on the In Vitro Wound Healing Process
by Wilhelmina E. Radstake, Kiran Gautam, Silvana Miranda, Randy Vermeesen, Kevin Tabury, Emil Rehnberg, Jasmine Buset, Ann Janssen, Liselotte Leysen, Mieke Neefs, Mieke Verslegers, Jürgen Claesen, Marc-Jan van Goethem, Uli Weber, Claudia Fournier, Alessio Parisi, Sytze Brandenburg, Marco Durante, Bjorn Baselet and Sarah Baatout
Cells 2023, 12(2), 246; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12020246 - 07 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2277
Abstract
Human spaceflight is associated with several health-related issues as a result of long-term exposure to microgravity, ionizing radiation, and higher levels of psychological stress. Frequent reported skin problems in space include rashes, itches, and a delayed wound healing. Access to space is restricted [...] Read more.
Human spaceflight is associated with several health-related issues as a result of long-term exposure to microgravity, ionizing radiation, and higher levels of psychological stress. Frequent reported skin problems in space include rashes, itches, and a delayed wound healing. Access to space is restricted by financial and logistical issues; as a consequence, experimental sample sizes are often small, which limits the generalization of the results. Earth-based simulation models can be used to investigate cellular responses as a result of exposure to certain spaceflight stressors. Here, we describe the development of an in vitro model of the simulated spaceflight environment, which we used to investigate the combined effect of simulated microgravity using the random positioning machine (RPM), ionizing radiation, and stress hormones on the wound-healing capacity of human dermal fibroblasts. Fibroblasts were exposed to cortisol, after which they were irradiated with different radiation qualities (including X-rays, protons, carbon ions, and iron ions) followed by exposure to simulated microgravity using a random positioning machine (RPM). Data related to the inflammatory, proliferation, and remodeling phase of wound healing has been collected. Results show that spaceflight stressors can interfere with the wound healing process at any phase. Moreover, several interactions between the different spaceflight stressors were found. This highlights the complexity that needs to be taken into account when studying the effect of spaceflight stressors on certain biological processes and for the aim of countermeasures development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Microgravity and Space Biology)
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8 pages, 1254 KiB  
Communication
Drosophila melanogaster Oocytes after Space Flight: The Early Period of Adaptation to the Force of Gravity
by Irina V. Ogneva, Maria A. Golubkova, Nikolay S. Biryukov and Oleg V. Kotov
Cells 2022, 11(23), 3871; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells11233871 - 01 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1255
Abstract
The effect of space flight factors and the subsequent adaptation to the Earth’s gravity on oocytes is still poorly understood. Studies of mammalian oocytes in space present significant technical difficulties; therefore, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is a convenient test subject. In this [...] Read more.
The effect of space flight factors and the subsequent adaptation to the Earth’s gravity on oocytes is still poorly understood. Studies of mammalian oocytes in space present significant technical difficulties; therefore, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is a convenient test subject. In this study, we analyzed the structure of the oocytes of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, the maturation of which took place under space flight conditions (the “Cytomehanarium” experiment on the Russian Segment of the ISS during the ISS-67 expedition). The collection of the oocytes began immediately after landing and continued for 12 h. The flies were then transferred onto fresh agar plates and oocyte collection continued for the subsequent 12 h. The stiffness of oocytes was determined by atomic force microscopy and the content of the cytoskeletal proteins by Western blotting. The results demonstrated a significant decrease in the stiffness of oocytes in the flight group compared to the control (26.5 ± 1.1 pN/nm vs. 31.0 ± 1.8 pN/nm) against the background of a decrease in the content of some cytoskeletal proteins involved in the formation of microtubules and microfilaments. This pattern of oocyte structure leads to the disruption of cytokinesis during the cleavage of early embryos. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Microgravity and Space Biology)
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Review

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59 pages, 9160 KiB  
Review
Current Knowledge about the Impact of Microgravity on Gene Regulation
by Thomas J. Corydon, Herbert Schulz, Peter Richter, Sebastian M. Strauch, Maik Böhmer, Dario A. Ricciardi, Markus Wehland, Marcus Krüger, Gilmar S. Erzinger, Michael Lebert, Manfred Infanger, Petra M. Wise and Daniela Grimm
Cells 2023, 12(7), 1043; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12071043 - 29 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4012
Abstract
Microgravity (µg) has a massive impact on the health of space explorers. Microgravity changes the proliferation, differentiation, and growth of cells. As crewed spaceflights into deep space are being planned along with the commercialization of space travelling, researchers have focused on [...] Read more.
Microgravity (µg) has a massive impact on the health of space explorers. Microgravity changes the proliferation, differentiation, and growth of cells. As crewed spaceflights into deep space are being planned along with the commercialization of space travelling, researchers have focused on gene regulation in cells and organisms exposed to real (r-) and simulated (s-) µg. In particular, cancer and metastasis research benefits from the findings obtained under µg conditions. Gene regulation is a key factor in a cell or an organism’s ability to sustain life and respond to environmental changes. It is a universal process to control the amount, location, and timing in which genes are expressed. In this review, we provide an overview of µg-induced changes in the numerous mechanisms involved in gene regulation, including regulatory proteins, microRNAs, and the chemical modification of DNA. In particular, we discuss the current knowledge about the impact of microgravity on gene regulation in different types of bacteria, protists, fungi, animals, humans, and cells with a focus on the brain, eye, endothelium, immune system, cartilage, muscle, bone, and various cancers as well as recent findings in plants. Importantly, the obtained data clearly imply that µg experiments can support translational medicine on Earth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Microgravity and Space Biology)
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15 pages, 867 KiB  
Review
Experimentally Created Magnetic Force in Microbiological Space and On-Earth Studies: Perspectives and Restrictions
by Svetlana A. Ermolaeva, Vladislav A. Parfenov, Pavel A. Karalkin, Yusef D. Khesuani and Pavel A. Domnin
Cells 2023, 12(2), 338; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells12020338 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1597
Abstract
Magnetic force and gravity are two fundamental forces affecting all living organisms, including bacteria. On Earth, experimentally created magnetic force can be used to counterbalance gravity and place living organisms in conditions of magnetic levitation. Under conditions of microgravity, magnetic force becomes the [...] Read more.
Magnetic force and gravity are two fundamental forces affecting all living organisms, including bacteria. On Earth, experimentally created magnetic force can be used to counterbalance gravity and place living organisms in conditions of magnetic levitation. Under conditions of microgravity, magnetic force becomes the only force that moves bacteria, providing an acceleration towards areas of the lowest magnetic field and locking cells in this area. In this review, we consider basic principles and experimental systems used to create a magnetic force strong enough to balance gravity. Further, we describe how magnetic levitation is applied in on-Earth microbiological studies. Next, we consider bacterial behavior under combined conditions of microgravity and magnetic force onboard a spacecraft. At last, we discuss restrictions on applications of magnetic force in microbiological studies and the impact of these restrictions on biotechnological applications under space and on-Earth conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Microgravity and Space Biology)
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