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Acta Astronaut. 1995 Oct-Dec;36(8-12):439-48.

Choroidal responses in microgravity. (SLS-1, SLS-2 and hindlimb-suspension experiments).

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Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Universite de Montpellier 11.


Fluid and electrolyte shifts occurring during human spaceflight have been reported and investigated at the level of blood, cardiovascular and renal responses. Very few data were available concerning the cerebral fluid and electrolyte adaptation to microgravity, even in animal models. It is the reason why we developed several studies focused on the effects of spaceflight (SLS-1 and SLS-2 programs, carried on NASA STS 40 and 56 missions, which were 9- and 14-day flights, respectively), on structural and functional features of choroid plexuses, organs which secrete 70-90% of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and which are involved in brain homeostasis. Rats flown aboard space shuttles were sacrificed either in space (SLS-2 experiment, on flight day 13) or 4-8 hours after landing (SLS-1 and SLS-2 experiments). Quantitative autoradiography performed by microdensitometry and image analysis, showed that lateral and third ventricle choroid plexuses from rats flown for SLS-1 experiment demonstrated an increased number (about x 2) of binding sites to natriuretic peptides (which are known to be involved in mechanisms regulating CSF production). Using electron microscopy and immunocytochemistry, we studied the cellular response of choroid plexuses, which produce cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in brain lateral, third and fourth ventricles. We demonstrated that spaceflight (SLS-2 experiment, inflight samples) induces changes in the choroidal cell structure (apical microvilli, kinocilia organization, vesicle accumulation) and protein distribution or expression (carbonic anhydrase II, water channels,...). These observations suggested a loss of choroidal cell polarity and a decrease in CSF secretion. Hindlimb-suspended rats displayed similar choroidal changes. All together, these results support the hypothesis of a modified CSF production in rats during long-term (9, 13 or 14 days) adaptations to microgravity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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