Reinterpretation of Mouse Thyroid Changes under Space Conditions: The Contribution of Confinement to Damage.

Astrobiology

PubMedID: 24945896

Albi E, Ambesi-Impiombato FS, Lazzarini A, Lazzarini R, Floridi A, Cataldi S, Loreti E, Ferri I, Curcio F. Reinterpretation of Mouse Thyroid Changes under Space Conditions: The Contribution of Confinement to Damage. Astrobiology. 2014;.
Abstract During space missions, astronauts work in a state of separation from their daily social environment and in physical confinement. It has been shown that confinement influences mood and brain cortical activity, but no data has been obtained with regard to its effect on the thyroid gland, the structure and function of which change during spaceflights. Here, we report the results of a study on the effects of confinement on mouse thyroid, which was implemented with the Mice Drawer System Facility maintained on the ground, a system used for spaceflight experiments. The results show that confinement changes the microscopic structure of the thyroid gland and that it exhibits symptoms similar to those that result from physiological and/or pathological hyperfunction. What is left unchanged, however, is the sphingomyelinase-thyrotropin receptor relationship, which is important for thyrotropin response with a consequential production of hormones that act on the metabolism of almost all tissues and reduces the production of calcitonin, a hormone involved in bone metabolism. During space missions, the overexpression of pleiotrophin, a widespread cytokine up-regulated after tissue injury that acts on bone remodeling, attenuates changes to the thyroid that are spaceflight-dependent; therefore we studied the thyroids of pleiotrophin-transgenic mice in the Mice Drawer System Facility. In confinement, pleiotrophin overexpression does not protect from the loss of calcitonin. The contribution of confinement to thyroid damage during spaceflights is discussed. Key Words: Calcitonin-Confinement-Sphingomyelinase-Thyroid-Thyrotropin receptor. Astrobiology 14, xxx-xxx.