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Daytona Beach


Human Factors and Behavioral Neurobiology

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Spaceflight poses risks to the central nervous system (CNS), and understanding neurological responses is important for future missions. We report CNS changes in Drosophila aboard the International Space Station in response to spaceflight microgravity (SFmg) and artificially simulated Earth gravity (SF1g) via inflight centrifugation as a countermeasure. While inflight behavioral analyses of SFmg exhibit increased activity, postflight analysis displays significant climbing defects, highlighting the sensitivity of behavior to altered gravity. Multiomics analysis shows alterations in metabolic, oxidative stress and synaptic transmission pathways in both SFmg and SF1g; however, neurological changes immediately postflight, including neuronal loss, glial cell count alterations, oxidative damage, and apoptosis, are seen only in SFmg. Additionally, progressive neuronal loss and a glial phenotype in SF1g and SFmg brains, with pronounced phenotypes in SFmg, are seen upon acclimation to Earth conditions. Overall, our results indicate that artificial gravity partially protects the CNS from the adverse effects of spaceflight.

Publication Title

Cell Reports



Cell Press