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J Leukoc Biol. 1993 Sep;54(3):179-88.

Overview of spaceflight immunology studies.

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L.B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas 77058.


The effects of spaceflight and analogues of spaceflight are discussed here and in nine accompanying articles. In this summary we present spaceflight studies with human subjects, animal subjects, and cell cultures and we review ground-based systems used to model the observed effects of spaceflight on the immune system. Human paradigms include bed rest, academic or psychological stress, physical stress, hypobaric or high altitude stress, and confinement. Animal models include antiorthostatic and orthostatic suspension, hypobarism, and confinement. The ten manuscripts in this collection were selected to provide a summary that should give the reader an overview of the various activities of spaceflight immunology researchers throughout the history of space travel. This manuscript identifies the major contributors to the study of spaceflight immunology, explains what types of studies have been conducted, and how they have changed over the years. Also presented is a discussion of the unusual limitations associated with spaceflight research and the efforts to develop appropriate ground-based surrogate model systems. Specific details, data, and mechanistic speculations will be held to a minimum, because they will be discussed in depth in the other articles in the collection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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