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Impact of Spaceflight and Artificial Gravity on the Mouse Retina

Title: Impact of Spaceflight and Artificial Gravity on the Mouse Retina: Biochemical and Proteomic Analysis.
Name(s): Mao, Xiao W, author
Byrum, Stephanie, author
Nishiyama, Nina C, author
Pecaut, Michael J, author
Sridharan, Vijayalakshmi, author
Boerma, Marjan, author
Tackett, Alan J, author
Shiba, Dai, author
Shirakawa, Masaki, author
Takahashi, Satoru, author
Delp, Michael D, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Journal Article
Date Issued: 2018-08-28
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Astronauts are reported to have experienced some impairment in visual acuity during their mission on the International Space Station (ISS) and after they returned to Earth. There is emerging evidence that changes in vision may involve alterations in ocular structure and function. To investigate possible mechanisms, changes in protein expression profiles and oxidative stress-associated apoptosis were examined in mouse ocular tissue after spaceflight. Nine-week-old male C57BL/6 mice ( = 12) were launched from the Kennedy Space Center on a SpaceX rocket to the ISS for a 35-day mission. The animals were housed in the mouse Habitat Cage Unit (HCU) in the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) "Kibo" facility on the ISS. The flight mice lived either under an ambient microgravity condition (µg) or in a centrifugal habitat unit that produced 1 artificial gravity (µg + 1 ). Habitat control (HC) and vivarium control mice lived on Earth in HCUs or normal vivarium cages, respectively. Quantitative assessment of ocular tissue demonstrated that the µg group induced significant apoptosis in the retina vascular endothelial cells compared to all other groups ( < 0.05) that was 64% greater than that in the HC group. Proteomic analysis showed that many key pathways responsible for cell death, cell repair, inflammation, and metabolic stress were significantly altered in µg mice compared to HC animals. Additionally, there were more significant changes in regulated protein expression in the µg group relative to that in the µg + 1 group. These data provide evidence that spaceflight induces retinal apoptosis of vascular endothelial cells and changes in retinal protein expression related to cellular structure, immune response and metabolic function, and that artificial gravity (AG) provides some protection against these changes. These retinal cellular responses may affect blood⁻retinal barrier (BRB) integrity, visual acuity, and impact the potential risk of developing late retinal degeneration.
Identifier: FSU_pmch_30154332 (IID), 10.3390/ijms19092546 (DOI), PMC6165321 (PMCID), 30154332 (RID), 30154332 (EID), ijms19092546 (PII)
Keywords: Apoptosis, Artificial gravity, Microgravity, Ocular tissue, Oxidative stress, Proteomics, Spaceflight
Grant Number: UL1 TR000039, P20 GM103429, NNX15AE86G, P20 GM121293, S10 OD018445, P20 GM103625
Publication Note: This NIH-funded author manuscript originally appeared in PubMed Central at
Subject(s): Animals
Endothelial Cells/metabolism
Gravity, Altered
Oxidative Stress
Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism
Retinal Pigment Epithelium/cytology
Retinal Pigment Epithelium/metabolism
Space Flight
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU
Is Part Of: International journal of molecular sciences.
Issue: iss. 9, vol. 19

Choose the citation style.
Mao, X. W., Byrum, S., Nishiyama, N. C., Pecaut, M. J., Sridharan, V., Boerma, M., … Delp, M. D. (2018). Impact of Spaceflight and Artificial Gravity on the Mouse Retina: Biochemical and Proteomic Analysis. International Journal Of Molecular Sciences. Retrieved from