Effects of simulated space conditions on foetal mouse fibroblasts

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Radiation and microgravity are amongst the most important stresses in space conditions. Gravity is universally present on Earth. It determines the vertical orientation of all living organisms, thus their proper development. As a matter of fact, the presence of gravity at critical developmental moments of life is likely to determine the morphology that subsequently develops. It has a major impact on many biological functions, from muscle properties and contractile function to primary gravity transducer, as well as on neuronal signals and controls, behaviour, etc. The purpose of this study is to decipher the effects of simulated space conditions (microgravity and irradiation) on the morphology, physiology and gene expression of the mouse foetus. The developmental period that has been selected within this study is the late organogenesis. Embryonic fibroblast primary cell cultures were performed on foetuses at day 19 post conceptio and cultures were then submitted to microgravity and/or X-radiation conditions. To simulate microgravity, the desktop Random Positioning Machine (RPM) was used. The STO cell line was used to optimise and set-up experimental conditions. Flow cytometry was then applied to quantify possible space-induced apoptosis as well as potential effect on the cell cycle. Cytospin analyses were performed for morphology assessments.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-107
JournalCommunications in agricultural and applied biological sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2008


  • mouse development, fibroblasts, space conditions, microgravity, fetus, radiation

ID: 75376