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Cellular and Molecular Responses to Gravitational Force-Triggered Stress in Cells of the Immune System


Ullrich, Oliver; Thiel, Cora S (2020). Cellular and Molecular Responses to Gravitational Force-Triggered Stress in Cells of the Immune System. In: Choukèr, Alexander. Stress Challenges and Immunity in Space : From Mechanisms to Monitoring and Preventive Strategies. Cham: Springer, 301-325.

Abstract

Sensitivity of the human immune system to microgravity has been supposed since the first Apollo missions and was demonstrated during several space missions in the past. In vitro experiments demonstrated that cells of the immune system are exceptionally sensitive to microgravity. Therefore, serious concerns arose whether spaceflight-associated immune system weakening ultimately precludes the expansion of human presence beyond Earth’s orbit. In human cells, gravitational forces may be sensed by an individual cell in the context of altered extracellular matrix mechanics, cell shape, cytoskeletal organization, or internal prestress in the cell–tissue matrix. The development of cellular mechanosensitivity and signal transduction was probably an evolutionary requirement to enable our cells to sense their individual microenvironment. Therefore it is possible that the same mechanisms, which enable human cells to sense and to cope with mechanical stress, are potentially dangerous in microgravity. This chapter reviews the most recent developments in investigation to elucidate the influence of microgravity on immune cell signaling and functions and hereby bridges the phenotypic changes to transcriptome and epigenetic regulators.

Abstract

Sensitivity of the human immune system to microgravity has been supposed since the first Apollo missions and was demonstrated during several space missions in the past. In vitro experiments demonstrated that cells of the immune system are exceptionally sensitive to microgravity. Therefore, serious concerns arose whether spaceflight-associated immune system weakening ultimately precludes the expansion of human presence beyond Earth’s orbit. In human cells, gravitational forces may be sensed by an individual cell in the context of altered extracellular matrix mechanics, cell shape, cytoskeletal organization, or internal prestress in the cell–tissue matrix. The development of cellular mechanosensitivity and signal transduction was probably an evolutionary requirement to enable our cells to sense their individual microenvironment. Therefore it is possible that the same mechanisms, which enable human cells to sense and to cope with mechanical stress, are potentially dangerous in microgravity. This chapter reviews the most recent developments in investigation to elucidate the influence of microgravity on immune cell signaling and functions and hereby bridges the phenotypic changes to transcriptome and epigenetic regulators.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Anatomy
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > General Medicine
Physical Sciences > General Engineering
Life Sciences > General Immunology and Microbiology
Life Sciences > General Neuroscience
Language:English
Date:1 January 2020
Deposited On:22 Jan 2021 10:19
Last Modified:25 Jan 2021 16:15
Publisher:Springer
ISBN:978-3-030-16995-4
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-16996-1_17

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