Spaceflight alters the migratory ability of stem cell derived keratinocytes resulting in decreased wound healing potential
Finkelstein, H., et al. (2011). "Spaceflight alters the migratory ability of stem cell derived keratinocytes resulting in decreased wound healing potential." Molecular Biology of the Cell. Conference: Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology, ASCB 22 24
Spaceflight is known to have detrimental effects on most systems of the human body, including the musculoskeletal system, immune system and cardiovascular system, whilst also impairing many normal physiological processes, such as wound closure. We hypothesized that somatic stem cells, responsible for tissue regeneration, require mechanical stimulation in the form of gravity to regenerate tissues at normal rates, and that spaceflight conditions, specifically microgravity, may interfere with their proliferation and differentiation resulting in the widespread degeneration of tissues observed in space. We investigated this hypothesis by inducing embryonic stem cells to form embryoid bodies, a model of differentiated tissue, in microgravity for 15 days on shuttle mission STS-131. Results show that there was no alteration in the ability of embryoid bodies to adhere to and spread on a collagen matrix upon return to 1g and there was no difference in viability of flight and ground control samples. However, qRT-PCR analysis indicated that many genes involved in maintenance of stem cell pluripotency failed to turn off and differentiation of normal germlayer markers was inhibited following spaceflight, indicating an alteration in the normal differentiation process. This lead us to conduct a more in-depth experiment to analyse the differentiation process in one specific cell type, the keratinocyte, and additionally to investigate the effects of spaceflight on the ability of keratinocytes to conduct effective wound closure.