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Mol Neurobiol. 2015;51(3):1443-51. doi: 10.1007/s12035-014-8821-7. Epub 2014 Aug 2.

Risk neurogenes for long-term spaceflight: dopamine and serotonin brain system.

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  • 1Department of Behavioral Neurogenomics, Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Lavrentyeva avenue, 10, Novosibirsk, Russia, 633090.


Mice were exposed to 1 month of spaceflight on Russian biosatellite BION-M1 to determine its effect on the expression of key genes in the brain dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5-HT) systems. Spaceflight decreased the expression of crucial genes involved in DA synthesis and degradation, as well as the D1 receptor. However, spaceflight failed to alter the expression of tryptophan hydroxylase-2, 5-HT transporter, 5-HT1A, and 5-HT3 receptor genes, though it reduced 5-HT2A receptor gene expression in the hypothalamus. We revealed risk DA and 5-HT neurogenes for long-term spaceflight for the first time, as well as microgravity-responsive genes (tyrosine hydroxylase, catechol-O-methyltransferase, and D1 receptor in the nigrostriatal system; D1 and 5-HT2A receptors in the hypothalamus; and monoamine oxidase A (MAO A) in the frontal cortex). Decreased genetic control of the DA system may contribute to the spaceflight-induced locomotor impairment and dyskinesia described for both humans and rats.

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