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Effects of a long-term spaceflight on immunoglobulin heavy chains of the urodele amphibian Pleurodeles waltl

Posted by on in 2005
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 Boxio R, Dournon C, Frippiat JP.
J Appl Physiol. 2005 Mar;98(3):905-10. Epub 2004 Nov 5.
Laboratoire de Biologie Experimentale et Immunologie, EA 3442, Universite Henri Poincare-Nancy 1, Boulevard des Aiguillettes, BP 239, F-54506 Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy cedex, France.


A variety of immune parameters are modified during and after a spaceflight. The effects of spaceflights on cellular immunity are well documented; however, little is known about the effects of these flights on humoral immunity.

During the Genesis space experiment, two adult Pleurodeles waltl (urodele amphibian) stayed 5 mo onboard Mir and were subjected to oral immunization. Animals were killed 10 days after their return to earth. IgM and IgY heavy-chain transcripts in their spleens were quantified by Northern blotting. The use of the different VH families (coding for antibody heavy-chain variable domains) in IgM heavy chain transcripts was also analyzed. Results were compared with those obtained with ground control animals and animals reared in classical conditions in our animal facilities.

We observed that, 10 days after the return on earth, the level of IgM heavy-chain transcription was normal but the level of IgY heavy-chain transcription was at least three times higher than in control animals. We also observed that the use of the different VH families in IgM heavy-chain transcripts was modified by the flight. These data suggest that the spaceflight affected the antibody response against the antigens contained in the food.

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