T-cell immunity and cytokine production in cosmonauts after long-duration space flights
Morukov, B., et al. (2011). "T-cell immunity and cytokine production in cosmonauts after long-duration space flights." Acta Astronautica 68 7–8: 739-746
Long-duration spaceflight effects on T-cell immunity and cytokine production were studied in 12 Russian cosmonauts flown onto the International Space Station. Specific assays were performed before launch and after landing and included analysis of peripheral leukocyte distribution, analysis of T-cell phenotype, expression of activation markers, apoptosis, proliferation of T cells in response to a mitogen, concentrations of cytokines in supernatants of cell cultures. Statistically significant increase was observed in leukocytes’, lymphocytes’, monocytes’ and granulocytes’ total number, increase in percentage and absolutely number of CD3+CD4+-cells, CD4+CD45RA+-cells and CD4+CD45RA+/CD4+CD45RО+ ratio, CD4+CD25+Bright regulatory cells (p<0,05) in peripheral blood after landing. T-lymphocytes’ capacity to present CD69 and CD25 on its own surfaces was increased for the majority of crewmembers. Analysis of T-cell response to PHA-stimulation in vitro revealed there were some trends toward reduced proliferation of stimulated T-lymphocytes. There was an apparent post flight decrease in secreted IFN-g for the majority of crewmembers and in most instances there was elevation in secreted IL-10. It revealed depression of IFN-g/IL-10 ratio after flight. Correlation analysis according to Spearman’s rank correlation test established significant positive correlations (p<0.05) between cytokine production and T-cell activation (CD25+, CD38+) and negative correlation (p<0.05) between cytokine production and number of bulk memory CD4+T-cells (CD45RO+). Thus, these results suggest that T-cell dysfunction can be conditioned by cytokine dysbalance and could lead to development of disease after long-duration space flights.