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Effects of spaceflight on bone mineralization in the rhesus monkey.

Authors
  • 1
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985)
Publication Date
Volume
81
Issue
1
Pages
194–200
Identifiers
PMID: 8828665
Source
Medline
Keywords
  • Nasa Discipline Musculoskeletal
  • Nasa Discipline Number 00-00
  • Nasa Discipline Number 26-10
  • Nasa Program Flight
  • Nasa Program Space Physiology And Countermeasures
  • Non-Nasa Center

Abstract

We combined dual-photon absorptiometry, iliac crest histomorphometry, and backscattered electrons analysis to characterize bone mineralization effects of a spaceflight on young monkeys. Two 4- to 5-kg male rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) were flown during a 11.5-day spaceflight that took place onboard Cosmos 2229 biosatellite (Bion 10). Vivarium (n = 4) and Earth-based chair (n = 4) control situations were studied for comparison. Flight monkeys exhibited lower values of iliac cancellous bone volume, associated with nonsignificantly thinner trabeculae. Bone mineralization rate and the proportion of trabecular bone surface involved in mineralization processes were found markedly reduced after spaceflight. Analysis of embedded sections by backscattered electrons imaging showed a nonsignificant shift to lower mineralization in the flight biopsies vs. postflight mock-up biopsies. These results were in accordance with dual-photon absorptiometry evaluations showing a tendency for decreased bone mineral content during flight and recovery thereafter. The ground simulation experiment performed on the same monkeys more than 1 mo after landing suggests that the observed effects were specifically related to spaceflight and that the animals had only partially recovered. Additional animals on future flights will be required to confirm these findings.

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