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Neurochem Res. 2008 Nov;33(11):2335-41. doi: 10.1007/s11064-008-9738-1. Epub 2008 May 13.

Proteomic analysis of mouse hypothalamus under simulated microgravity.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL, 35294, USA.


Exposure to altered microgravity during space travel induces changes in the brain and these are reflected in many of the physical behavior seen in the astronauts. The vulnerability of the brain to microgravity stress has been reviewed and reported. Identifying microgravity-induced changes in the brain proteome may aid in understanding the impact of the microgravity environment on brain function. In our previous study we have reported changes in specific proteins under simulated microgravity in the hippocampus using proteomics approach. In the present study the profiling of the hypothalamus region in the brain was studied as a step towards exploring the effect of microgravity in this region of the brain. Hypothalamus is the critical region in the brain that strictly controls the pituitary gland that in turn is responsible for the secretion of important hormones. Here we report a 2-dimensional gel electrophoretic analysis of the mouse hypothalamus in response to simulated microgravity. Lowered glutathione and differences in abundance expression of seven proteins were detected in the hypothalamus of mice exposed to microgravity. These changes included decreased superoxide dismutase-2 (SOD-2) and increased malate dehydrogenase and peroxiredoxin-6, reflecting reduction of the antioxidant system in the hypothalamus. Taken together the results reported here indicate that oxidative imbalance occurred in the hypothalamus in response to simulated microgravity.

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