The immune system in space and microgravity.

  title={The immune system in space and microgravity.},
  author={Gerald Sonnenfeld},
  journal={Medicine and science in sports and exercise},
  volume={34 12},
  • G. Sonnenfeld
  • Published 1 December 2002
  • Biology
  • Medicine and science in sports and exercise
Space flight and models that created conditions similar to those that occur during space flight have been shown to affect a variety of immunological responses. These have primarily been cell-mediated immune responses including leukocyte proliferation, cytokine production, and leukocyte subset distribution. The mechanisms and biomedical consequences of these changes remain to be established. Among the possible causes of space flight-induced alterations in immune responses are exposure to… 

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Morphofunctional Changes in Peripheral Immune Organs in Space Flight and Weightlessness Modeling

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Cellular Effects of Altered Gravity on the Innate Immune System and the Endothelial Barrier

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Immune responses in space flight.

The biological significance of space flight-induced changes in immune parameters remains to be established; however, as duration of flights increases, the potential for difficulties due to impaired immune responses also increases.

Spaceflight induces changes in splenocyte subpopulations: effectiveness of ground-based models.

A ground-based protocol is created that can reproduce the immunological changes found after spaceflight, i.e., changes in splenic lymphocyte populations, to support the conclusion that the ground models tested did not induce similar changes in the immune system as did spaceflight.

The role of psychoneuroendocrine factors on spaceflight‐induced immunological alterations

Previous in‐flight infections and novel conditions of spaceflight that may suppress immune function are summarized and available data support the hypothesis that spaceflight and other environmental stressors modulate normal immune regulation via stress hormones, other than exclusively glucocorticoids.

Overview of spaceflight immunology studies.

This manuscript identifies the major contributors to the study of spaceflight immunology, explains what types of studies have been conducted, and how they have changed over the years, and discusses the unusual limitations associated with spaceflight research and the efforts to develop appropriate ground‐based surrogate model systems.

Immunological analyses of U.S. Space Shuttle crewmembers.

Additional data from Space Shuttle flights 41B and 41D, involving 11 crewmembers, indicate a postflight decrease in cells reacting with "B" lymphocyte and monocyte monoclonal antibody tags, which implies that the previously reported loss of blastogenic capability may be a function of decreased monocyte control.

Human cellular immune responsiveness following space flight.

These postflight changes in leukocytes are shown to increase with subjectively-evaluated increases in the incidence of inflight stress, indicating that stress, and not hypogravity, is likely to be the major effector of these changes.

Effect of space flight on cytokine production and other immunologic parameters of rhesus monkeys.

  • G. SonnenfeldS. Davis D. A. Schmitt
  • Biology
    Journal of interferon & cytokine research : the official journal of the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research
  • 1996
The results suggest that the rhesus monkey may be a useful surrogate for humans in future studies that examine the effect of space flight on immune response, particularly when conditions do not readily permit human study.

Spaceflight and development of immune responses.

None of the examined immune parameters that were altered in rat dams after spaceflight was found to be altered in their offspring, and total serum IgG was not affected by spaceflight.

Effects of spaceflight and PEG-IL-2 on rat physiological and immunological responses.

PEG-IL-2 did not appear to be beneficial; however, this was mostly due to the lack of spaceflight effects, which reflects the difficulty in reproducing experimental models by using current space shuttle conditions.

Cellular immunity in cosmonauts during long duration spaceflight on board the orbital MIR station.

The results confirm earlier observations of a decreased lymphocyte function following spaceflights determined by means of mitogenic responsiveness of lymphocytes and gain further support for the notion of a possibly impaired cell-mediated immunity under stress in association with spaceflight.