Chronic exposure to simulated space conditions predominantly affects cytoskeleton remodeling and oxidative stress response in mouse fetal fibroblasts

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Microgravity and cosmic rays as found in space are difficult to recreate on earth. However, ground-based models exist to simulate space flight experiments. In the present study, an experimental model was utilized to monitor gene expression changes in fetal skin fibroblasts of murine origin. Cells were continuously subjected for 65 h to a low dose (55 mSv) of ionizing radiation (IR), comprising a mixture of high linear energy transfer (LET) neutrons and low-LET gamma-rays, and/or simulated microgravity using the random positioning machine (RPM), after which microarrays were performed. The data were analyzed both by gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) and single gene analysis (SGA). Simulated microgravity affected fetal murine fibro¬blasts by inducing oxidative stress responsive genes. In addition, simulated gravity decreased the expression of genes involved in cytoskeleton remodeling. Similarly, chronic exposure to low-dose IR caused the downregulation of genes involved in cytoskeleton remodeling, as well as in cell cycle regulation and DNA damage response pathways. Many of the genes or gene sets that were altered in the individual treatments (RPM or IR) were not altered in the combined treatment (RPM and IR), indicating a complex interaction between RPM and IR.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)606-615
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


  • simulated space conditions, microarrays, cytoskeleton, oxidative stress, DNA damage

ID: 70089