Altered gravity affects succinate dehydrogenase reactivity in specific nuclei of fish brain.


The effect of long-term (10 days) altered gravitational conditions upon succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) reactivity in total brain as well as in individual brain nuclei of developing cichlid fish larvae has been investigated by means of semiquantitative histochemical methods (densitometric grey value analysis). Increasing acceleration from near weightlessness (spaceflight) via 1 g controls to 3 g hypergravity (centrifuge) resulted in slightly increased total brain SDH reactivity. When focusing on distinct neuronal integration centres within the same brains in order to find the anatomical substratum of the gross histochemical data, significant effects of altered gravity on vestibulum-related brain parts were obtained. The total brain results may therefore represent the sum of such particular indirect effects but may also comprise in addition a non vestibular-related general and therefore direct influence of altered gravitational conditions, possibly on all cells.