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Aviat Space Environ Med 1991 Dec 01;6212:1159-65.
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Vector-averaged gravity alters myocyte and neuron properties in cell culture.

Gruener R , Hoeger G .

To investigate whether changes in the gravitational field of developing neurons and myocytes affect cellular development, we rotated cultures of embryonic spinal neurons and myocytes in a horizontal clinostat. Rotation in the clinostat produces, from the cells' perspective, a "vector-free" gravity environment by continuous averaging of the vector. In this way, rotation in the clinostat simulates the microgravity of space where the gravity vector is substantially reduced. At rotation rates of 1-50 rpm, cellular and nuclear areas of myocytes were significantly enlarged and the number of presumptive nucleoli increased. In neurons, frequent and large swellings appeared along neuritic shafts. Some of these changes were reversible after cessation of rotation. Since our data are generally consistent with findings from other cell types subjected to spaceflight, we suggest that the vector-free gravity environment of the clinostat appears to simulate, at least in part, the microgravity of space. Our data further show that cellular processes are sensitive to altered gravity and suggest that cell development in the microgravity of space may be significantly altered.

PubMed ID: 1755797