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Signal transduction in cells of the immune system in microgravity


Ullrich, O; Huber, K; Lang, K (2008). Signal transduction in cells of the immune system in microgravity. Cell Communication and Signaling, 6:9:1-6.

Abstract

Life on Earth developed in the presence and under the constant influence of gravity. Gravity has been present during the entire evolution, from the first organic molecule to mammals and humans. Modern research revealed clearly that gravity is important, probably indispensable for the function of living systems, from unicellular organisms to men. Thus, gravity research is no more or less a fundamental question about the conditions of life on Earth. Since the first space missions and supported thereafter by a multitude of space and ground-based experiments, it is well known that immune cell function is severely suppressed in microgravity, which renders the cells of the immune system an ideal model organism to investigate the influence of gravity on the cellular and molecular level. Here we review the current knowledge about the question, if and how cellular signal transduction depends on the existence of gravity, with special focus on cells of the immune system. Since immune cell function is fundamental to keep the organism under imnological surveillance during the defence against pathogens, to investigate the effects and possible molecular mechanisms of altered gravity is indispensable for long-term space flights to Earth Moon or Mars. Thus, understanding the impact of gravity on cellular functions on Earth will provide not only important informations about the development of life on Earth, but also for therapeutic and preventive strategies to cope successfully with medical problems during space exploration.

Life on Earth developed in the presence and under the constant influence of gravity. Gravity has been present during the entire evolution, from the first organic molecule to mammals and humans. Modern research revealed clearly that gravity is important, probably indispensable for the function of living systems, from unicellular organisms to men. Thus, gravity research is no more or less a fundamental question about the conditions of life on Earth. Since the first space missions and supported thereafter by a multitude of space and ground-based experiments, it is well known that immune cell function is severely suppressed in microgravity, which renders the cells of the immune system an ideal model organism to investigate the influence of gravity on the cellular and molecular level. Here we review the current knowledge about the question, if and how cellular signal transduction depends on the existence of gravity, with special focus on cells of the immune system. Since immune cell function is fundamental to keep the organism under imnological surveillance during the defence against pathogens, to investigate the effects and possible molecular mechanisms of altered gravity is indispensable for long-term space flights to Earth Moon or Mars. Thus, understanding the impact of gravity on cellular functions on Earth will provide not only important informations about the development of life on Earth, but also for therapeutic and preventive strategies to cope successfully with medical problems during space exploration.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Anatomy
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:October 2008
Deposited On:04 Mar 2009 12:40
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:05
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1478-811X
Additional Information:Free full text article
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/1478-811X-6-9
PubMed ID:18957108
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-16037

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