Molecular impact of launch related dynamic vibrations and static hypergravity in planarians

N. de Sousa, M. Caporicci, J. Vandersteen, J.I. Rojo-Laguna, Emili Saló, T. Adell, G. Auletta, J.J.W.A. van Loon

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Although many examples of simulated and real microgravity demonstrating their profound effect on biological systems are described in literature, few reports deal with hypergravity and vibration effects, the levels of which are severely increased during the launch preceding the desired microgravity period. Here, we used planarians, flatworms that can regenerate any body part in a few days. Planarians are an ideal model to study the impact of launch-related hypergravity and vibration during a regenerative process in a “whole animal” context. Therefore, planarians were subjected to 8.5 minutes of 4 g hypergravity (i.e. a human-rated launch level) in the Large Diameter Centrifuge (LDC) and/or to vibrations (20–2000 Hz, 11.3 Grms) simulating the conditions of a standard rocket launch. The transcriptional levels of genes (erg-1, runt-1, fos, jnk, and yki) related with the early stress response were quantified through qPCR. The results show that early response genes are severely deregulated after static and dynamic loads but more so after a combined exposure of dynamic (vibration) and static (hypergravity) loads, more closely simulating real launch exposure profiles. Importantly, at least four days after the exposure, the transcriptional levels of those genes are still deregulated. Our results highlight the deep impact that short exposures to hypergravity and vibration have in organisms, and thus the implications that space flight launch could have. These phenomena should be taken into account when planning for well-controlled microgravity studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number25
Number of pages7
JournalNPJ Microgravity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


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