Submitting Campus

Daytona Beach


Human Factors and Behavioral Neurobiology

Document Type


Publication/Presentation Date



In space, astronauts are more susceptible to pathogens, viral reactivation and immunosuppression, which poses limits to their health and the mission. Interestingly, during space flight, stress-inducible heat shock proteins (HSP) are robustly induced, and the overexpression of HSPs have been implicated in immune dysregulation, therefore HSPs may be critically involved in regulating immune homeostasis. HSP40/DNAJ1 plays a major role in proper protein translation and folding. Its loss of function has been implicated in susceptibility to microbial infection, while its overexpression has been implicated in autoimmunity, collectively suggesting its complicated, but necessary, role in maintaining immunological function. To determine the role of HSP40 during stress-induced altered gravity conditions, wild-type and Hsp40 mutant Drosophila melanogaster were exposed to ground-based chronic hyper gravity conditions, followed by quantitative PCR (qPCR) analysis of immune gene expression. In addition, larval hemocytes were collected to determine the functional output in response to E. coli bioparticle phagocytosis. Preliminary data indicates a required role for Hsp40 in strengthening immune function during stress-induced spaceflight in flies. In short, a critical need to evaluate the relationship between HSPs and immune suppression during space flight is necessary. Since space travel may become available to the general public in the not-too-distant future, and for the possibility of long-term space missions, a more comprehensive evaluation of the molecules responsible for immune dysfunction observed during space flight is required.


Washington, DC

Paper Number


Number of Pages


Additional Information

Dr. Paul was not affiliated with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at the time this paper was published.