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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(5), 972;

Impact of Gravity on Thyroid Cells

Department of Pharmaceutical Science, University of Perugia, San Costanzo, via Romana, 06121 Perugia, Italy
Clinic and Policlinic for Plastic, Aesthetic and Hand Surgery, Otto-von-Guericke-University, Leipziger Str. 44, 39120 Magdeburg, Germany
German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Gravitational Biology, Linder Höhe, 51147 Cologne, Germany
Laboratory of Nuclear Lipid BioPathology, CRABiON, Perugia, via Ponchielli 4, 06073 Perugia, Italy
Dipartimento di Area Medica (DAME), University of Udine, p.le M. Kolbe 4, 33100 Udine, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Daniela Gabriele Grimm
Received: 30 March 2017 / Revised: 27 April 2017 / Accepted: 28 April 2017 / Published: 4 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Knowledge in Thyroid Cancer—From Bench to Bedside)
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Physical and mental health requires a correct functioning of the thyroid gland, which controls cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, nervous, and immune systems, and affects behavior and cognitive functions. Microgravity, as occurs during space missions, induces morphological and functional changes within the thyroid gland. Here, we review relevant experiments exposing cell cultures (normal and cancer thyroid cells) to simulated and real microgravity, as well as wild-type and transgenic mice to hypergravity and spaceflight conditions. Well-known mechanisms of damage are presented and new ones, such as changes of gene expression for extracellular matrix and cytoskeleton proteins, thyrocyte phenotype, sensitivity of thyrocytes to thyrotropin due to thyrotropin receptor modification, parafollicular cells and calcitonin production, sphingomyelin metabolism, and the expression and movement of cancer molecules from thyrocytes to colloids are highlighted. The identification of new mechanisms of thyroid injury is essential for the development of countermeasures, both on the ground and in space, against thyroid cancer. We also address the question whether normal and cancer cells show a different sensitivity concerning changes of environmental conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: thyroid gland; thyroid cancer; microgravity; hypergravity; space environment thyroid gland; thyroid cancer; microgravity; hypergravity; space environment

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Albi, E.; Krüger, M.; Hemmersbach, R.; Lazzarini, A.; Cataldi, S.; Codini, M.; Beccari, T.; Ambesi-Impiombato, F.S.; Curcio, F. Impact of Gravity on Thyroid Cells. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 972.

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