Consequences of spaceflight stressors on cell-mediated immunity

Sebastiaan Deckers, Merel Van Walleghem, Sarah Baatout

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    Immune studies in space have shown that during space travel the immune system can be weakened. However, the impact of specific spaceflight-associated factors is not yet fully understood. We investigated the effect of simulated microgravity (s-µG) on cell-mediated immunity (CMI) and its potential modulation through stress hormones using the in vitro Delayed-Type Hypersensitivity (DTH) assay. This assay was performed under s-µG using the Random Positioning Machine (RPM). Due to the random 3D movement during µG simulation, closed tubes need to be used to prevent leakage. In a first step, the influence of s-µG and the use of closed cryotubes on the viability of the immune cells in whole blood samples was assessed. Next, the individual and combined effects of s-µG and mental stress on the CMI were assessed by performing the in vitro DTH assay under s-µG with the addition of hydrocortisone. During this assay, the immune cells were exposed to different immunogenic challenges. Our results indicate that the viability of the immune cells is not greatly affected by s-µG and the use of closed tubes. Multiplex cytokine analysis showed changed cytokine profiles after exposure to s-µG compared to controls. In addition, a differential response was observed for different challenges.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Uhasselt - Hasselt University
    • Moreels, Marjan, Supervisor
    • Baatout, Sarah, Supervisor
    • Hellings, Niels, Supervisor, External person
    Place of PublicationDiepenbeek, Belgium
    StatePublished - 9 Jun 2015

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