During space flight the function of the immune system changes significantly. Several papers reported that postflight the number and the proportion of circulating leukocytes in astronauts are modified (Leach, 1992), the in vitro mitogen induced T cell activation is depressed (Cogoli et al., 1985; Konstantinova et al. 1993) and there are detectable differences in cytokine production of leukocytes as well (Talas et al. 1983; Batkai et al. 1988; Chapes et al. 1992). One of the possible modifying forces is the microgravity condition itself. Our aim was to analyse mechanisms responsible for changing leukocyte functions in low gravity environment. For terrestrial simulation of microgravity we used a Rotary Cell Culture System (RCCS) developed by NASA. We investigated the effect of simulated microgravity on separated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). We detected the populations of different cells by antibodies conjugated to fluorofors using a Flow Cytometer. Since space flight reduces the number of peripheral blood lymphocytes (Stowe et al., 1999) we supposed that apoptotic (programmed cell death) processes might be involved. This hypothesis was supported by the result of our earlier experiment demonstrating that simulated microgravity increased the level of secreted Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNFalpha, a known apoptotic signal molecule) significantly (Batkai et al. 1999).
|Journal||Journal of gravitational physiology : a journal of the International Society for Gravitational Physiology|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2001|
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