Document Detail

Neuronal responses to vector-averaged gravity: a search for gravisensing and adaptation mechanisms--a preliminary report.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11542435     Owner:  NASA     Status:  MEDLINE    
This paper serves as a milepost in our work using the clinostat as a tool for mimicking certain aspects of altered gravity conditions (vector-nulled gravity) in order to gain insights into the adaptation of cells (and hence organisms) to the microgravity environment of space. I review here recent data, limited to cellular adaptation to altered gravity environments, from others in the field, and including some of our work using the clinostat and from spaceflight experiments. Finally, I report here preliminary results of experiments, carried out initially at Nagoya University's RIEM with follow-up experiments at the University of Arizona, to test the applicability of PC12 cells as neuronal models in which to assess adaptation to altered gravity conditions. PC12 (phaeochromocytoma) cells were used to examine two central hypotheses. The first is that the ubiquity of the cytoskeletally tethered nucleus of cells serves as a general gravisensing device which may be incidental to its other, more central genomic control-role. The second hypothesis is that the clinostat is a useful, earthbound platform on which to carry out space-biology relevant experiments in preparation for testing in space flights. PC12 cells were triggered to differentiate, into neuron-like cells, by the addition of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) to the culture medium within 4-6 hours after cell plating and just before mounting cultures on the clinostat and control devices. Cultures, in 60 mm or 35 mm polylysine-coated dishes, were subjected to clinorotation, centrifugal force, motional controls and shear-turbulence control conditions for varying periods. Experiments were carried out at 37 degrees C. Cell morphology (including neurite characteristics) and gene activation were examined. Cytoskeletal integrity was assessed from the staining of tubulin and actin filaments. Confocal microscopy in combination with fluorescence monitoring was undertaken. At this point of the investigation, only preliminary data can be presented. This is due to various technical problems and the need to carry out rigorous statistical tests. Still, the preliminary data are of interest because they form the foundation for interpretation against the background of cellular gravisensing and adaptation to gravitational perturbations.
R Gruener
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Uchū kōkū kankyō igaku / Nihon Uchū Kōkū Kankyō Igakkai     Volume:  35     ISSN:  0387-0723     ISO Abbreviation:  Uchu Koku Kankyo Igaku     Publication Date:  1998  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1999-12-06     Completed Date:  1999-12-06     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9425137     Medline TA:  Uchu Koku Kankyo Igaku     Country:  JAPAN    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  63-83     Citation Subset:  S    
Department of Physiology, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson 85724, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Actins / metabolism
Cytoskeleton / physiology
Gene Expression Regulation*
Gravity Sensing
Gravity, Altered*
Nerve Growth Factors
Neurites / physiology
PC12 Cells / physiology,  ultrastructure*
Space Flight
Transcriptional Activation
Tubulin / metabolism
Weightlessness Simulation*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Actins; 0/Nerve Growth Factors; 0/Tubulin

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