Morphological and Physiological Changes in Mature In Vitro Neuronal Networks towards Exposure to Short-, Middle- or Long-Term Simulated Microgravity

Giuseppe Pani, Nada Samari, Roel Quintens, Louis de Saint-Georges, MariAntonia Meloni, Sarah Baatout, Patrick Van Oostveldt, Rafi Benotmane, Marjan Moreels

    Research outputpeer-review


    The aim of this work was to assess the particular effects of simulated microgravity on mature primary neuronal networks and specially their plasticity and connectivity. For this purpose, primary mouse neuronal cultures (10 DIV) were subjected to microgravity using the Random Positioning Machine (RPM). These cultures were then used to investigate the impact of short- (1 h), middle- (24 h) and long-term (10 days) exposure to microgravity at the level of neurite network density, cell morphology and motility as well as cytoskeleton properties. Image processing analysis revealed different responses depending on the duration of the exposure. After short- and middle-term exposures to simulated microgravity, changes in neurite network, neuron morphology and viability were observed with significant alterations followed by fast recovery processes. Long exposure to simulated microgravity revealed a high adaptation of single neurons to the new gravity conditions as well as a partial adaptation of neuronal networks. However, neurons and neuronal networks exposed for long-term to simulated microgravity required longer recovery time to re-adapt to the ground gravity. In conclusion, a clear modulation in neuronal plasticity was evidenced through morphological and physiological changes in primary neuronal cultures during and after simulated microgravity exposure.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)e73857-e73857
    JournalPLOS ONE
    Issue number9
    StatePublished - Sep 2013

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