Spaceflight modulates the expression of key oxidative stress and cell cycle related genes in heart
Spaceflight causes cardiovascular changes due to microgravity-induced redistribution of body fluids and musculoskeletal unloading. Cardiac deconditioning and atrophy on Earth are associated with altered Trp53 and oxidative stress-related pathways, but the effects of spaceflight on cardiac changes at the molecular level are less understood. We tested the hypothesis that spaceflight alters the expression of key genes related to stress response pathways, which may contribute to cardiovascular deconditioning during extended spaceflight. Mice were exposed to spaceflight for 15 days or maintained on Earth (ground control). Ventricle tissue was harvested starting ~3 h post-landing. We measured expression of select genes implicated in oxidative stress pathways and Trp53 signaling by quantitative PCR. Cardiac expression levels of 37 of 168 genes tested were altered after spaceflight. Spaceflight downregulated transcription factor, Nfe2l2 (Nrf2), upregulated Nox1 and downregulated Ptgs2, suggesting a persistent increase in oxidative stress-related target genes. Spaceflight also substantially upregulated Cdkn1a (p21) and cell cycle/apoptosis-related gene Myc, and downregulated the inflammatory response gene Tnf. There were no changes in apoptosis-re-lated genes such as Trp53. Spaceflight altered the expression of genes regulating redox balance, cell cycle and senescence in cardiac tissue of mice. Thus, spaceflight may contribute to cardiac dysfunction due to oxidative stress.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Kumar, A., Tahimic, C., Almeida, E., & Globus, R. K. (2021). Spaceflight Modulates the Expression of Key Oxidative Stress and Cell Cycle Related Genes in Heart. International journal of molecular sciences, 22(16), 9088. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22169088