Crickets in space: morphological, physiological and behavioral alterations induced by space flight and hypergravity
Horn, E., et al. (2002). "Crickets in space: morphological, physiological and behavioral alterations induced by space flight and hypergravity." Advances in Space Research 30 4: 819-28
"Crickets in Space" was a Neurolab experiment by which the balance between genetic programs and the gravitational environment for the development of a gravity sensitive neuronal system was studied. The model character of crickets was justified by their external gravity receptors, identified position-sensitive interneurons (PSI) and gravity-related compensatory head response, and by the specific relation of this behavior to neuronal arousal systems activated by locomotion. These advantages allowed to study the impact of modified gravity on cellular processes in a complex organism. Eggs, 1st, 4th and 6th stage larvae of Acheta domesticus were used. Post-flight experiments revealed a low susceptibility of the behavior to micro- and hypergravity while the physiology of the PSI was significantly affected. Immunocytological investigations revealed a stage-dependent sensitivity of thoracic GABAergic motoneurons to 3 g-conditions concerning their soma sizes but not their topographical arrangement. The morphology of neuromuscular junctions was not affected by 3 g-hypergravity. Peptidergic neurons from cerebral sensorimotor centers revealed no significant modifications by microgravity (micro g). The contrary physiological and behavioral results indicate a facilitation of 1 g-readaptation originating from accessory gravity, proprioceptive and visual sense organs. Absence of anatomical modifications point to an effective time window of micro g or 3 g-expo-sure related to the period of neuronal proliferation. The analysis of basic mechanisms of how animals and man adapt to altered gravitational conditions will profit from a continuation of the project "Crickets in Space". c2002 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
PMCID: Source: NASA. 00028734
Accession Number: 12530388