Send to

Choose Destination
Stem Cells Dev. 2015 Nov 15;24(22):2605-21. doi: 10.1089/scd.2015.0218. Epub 2015 Oct 22.

Microgravity Reduces the Differentiation and Regenerative Potential of Embryonic Stem Cells.

Author information

1 Space Biosciences Division, NASA Ames Research Center , Moffett Field, California.
2 School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, University of New South Wales , Sydney, Australia .
3 FILMSS Wyle, Space Biology, NASA Ames Research Center , Moffett Field, California.
4 Australian Centre for Astrobiology, University of New South Wales , Sydney, Australia .


Mechanical unloading in microgravity is thought to induce tissue degeneration by various mechanisms, including inhibition of regenerative stem cell differentiation. To address this hypothesis, we investigated the effects of microgravity on early lineage commitment of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) using the embryoid body (EB) model of tissue differentiation. We found that exposure to microgravity for 15 days inhibits mESC differentiation and expression of terminal germ layer lineage markers in EBs. Additionally, microgravity-unloaded EBs retained stem cell self-renewal markers, suggesting that mechanical loading at Earth's gravity is required for normal differentiation of mESCs. Finally, cells recovered from microgravity-unloaded EBs and then cultured at Earth's gravity showed greater stemness, differentiating more readily into contractile cardiomyocyte colonies. These results indicate that mechanical unloading of stem cells in microgravity inhibits their differentiation and preserves stemness, possibly providing a cellular mechanistic basis for the inhibition of tissue regeneration in space and in disuse conditions on earth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center