by Staff Writers
Luxembourg (SPX) Oct 16, 2012
New research findings recently published in The FASEB Journal, show that immune system development is affected by gravity changes, as reported by researchers from the University of Lorraine and University of Luxembourg.
Astronauts are exposed to stresses, during launch and landing, which disrupts their body's natural defenses against infection. Changes to the immune system need to be investigated before astronauts undergo longer space missions.
Researchers looked at how antibody production is affected when animal development occurs onboard a space station and which part of space travel has the greatest impact on antibodies, which are the proteins that the immune system uses to protect us from diseases.
To do this, they sent Iberian ribbed newt, Pleurodeles waltl, embryos to the International Space Station before the newt embryos started to develop IgM antibody, which is also found in humans and is the largest antibody that circulates in blood.
Upon landing, they were compared with embryos grown on Earth. Antibody mRNAs in space and earth newts were different. The IgM antibody was doubled at landing.
Findings show that gravity changes during development affect antibodies and the regeneration of white blood cells, which are important in defending the body against infectious diseases. Spaceflight did not affect newt development nor did it cause inflammation.
Scientists believe that these changes could also occur in humans, and require further experimentation to see how gravity can influence the immune system and white blood cell function, which play a role in many human diseases including cancer and diabetes.
New publication Huin-Schohn C, et al. Gravity changes during animal development affect IgM heavy-chain transcription and probably lymphopoiesis. The FASEB Journal article fj.12-217547. E-publication, September 19, 2012.
University of Luxembourg
Space Medicine Technology and Systems
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
SMARTCAP - Funding opportunity for companies with promising medical products for use on Earth, in space
Houston TX (SPX) Sep 28, 2012
Do you know of a small company developing a medical product that could be adapted to solve a health or human performance challenge in space? Have you developed a biomedical product for the space program that could also improve health on Earth? The National Space Biomedical Research Institute's Industry Forum is soliciting applications for the Space Medicine and Related Technologies Commerc ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|