Observing the Mouse Thyroid Sphingomyelin Under SpaceConditions: A Case Study from the MDS Mission inComparison with Hypergravity Conditions
E. Albi, F. Curcio, R. Spelat, A. Lazzarini, R. Lazzarini, E. Loreti, I. Ferri, ; F.S. Ambesi-Impiombato ; - ASI Sponsor
Nov - 2012
DOI: 10.1089/ast.2012.0881

journal : Astrobiology

Volume : 12 ; Issue : 11
type: Article Journal

This is a case report of apparent thyroid structural and functional alteration in a single mouse subjected to low Earth orbit spaceflight for 91 days. Histological examination of the thyroid gland revealed an increase in the average follicle size compared to that of three control animals and three animals exposed to hypergravity (2g) conditions. Immunoblotting analysis detected an increase in two thyroid gland enzymes, sphingomyelinase and sphingomyelin-synthase1. In addition, sphingomyelinase, an enzyme confined to the cell nucleus in the control animals, was found in the mouse exposed to hypogravity to be homogeneously distributed throughout the cell bodies. It represents the first animal observation of the influence of weightlessness on sphingomyelin metabolism.

keywords : Gravity—Lipid—Spaceflight—Sphingomyelin—Thyroid