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Rapid Morphological and Cytoskeletal Response to Microgravity in Human Primary Macrophages

Institute of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
Department of Machine Design, Engineering Design and Product Development, Institute of Mechanical Engineering, Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg, Universitätsplatz 2, 39106 Magdeburg, Germany
TILL I.D. GmbH, Am Klopferspitz 19a, 82152 Martinsried, Germany
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), ISS Utilization and Life Sciences Division, Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, FL 32899, USA
Ernst-Abbe-Hochschule (EAH) Jena, Department of Industrial Engineering, Carl-Zeiss-Promenade 2, 07745 Jena, Germany
Zurich Center for Integrative Human Physiology (ZIHP), University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
Space Life Sciences Laboratory (SLSL), Kennedy Space Center, 505 Odyssey Way, Exploration Park, FL 32953, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(10), 2402;
Received: 30 March 2019 / Revised: 30 April 2019 / Accepted: 14 May 2019 / Published: 15 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation of Living Organisms in Space: From Mammals to Plants)
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The FLUMIAS (Fluorescence-Microscopic Analyses System for Life-Cell-Imaging in Space) confocal laser spinning disk fluorescence microscope represents a new imaging capability for live cell imaging experiments on suborbital ballistic rocket missions. During the second pioneer mission of this microscope system on the TEXUS-54 suborbital rocket flight, we developed and performed a live imaging experiment with primary human macrophages. We simultaneously imaged four different cellular structures (nucleus, cytoplasm, lysosomes, actin cytoskeleton) by using four different live cell dyes (Nuclear Violet, Calcein, LysoBrite, SiR-actin) and laser wavelengths (405, 488, 561, and 642 nm), and investigated the cellular morphology in microgravity (10−4 to 10−5 g) over a period of about six minutes compared to 1 g controls. For live imaging of the cytoskeleton during spaceflight, we combined confocal laser microscopy with the SiR-actin probe, a fluorogenic silicon-rhodamine (SiR) conjugated jasplakinolide probe that binds to F-actin and displays minimal toxicity. We determined changes in 3D cell volume and surface, nuclear volume and in the actin cytoskeleton, which responded rapidly to the microgravity environment with a significant reduction of SiR-actin fluorescence after 4–19 s microgravity, and adapted subsequently until 126–151 s microgravity. We conclude that microgravity induces geometric cellular changes and rapid response and adaptation of the potential gravity-transducing cytoskeleton in primary human macrophages. View Full-Text
Keywords: live cell imaging; suborbital rocket; microgravity; immune cells; cytoskeleton; nucleus live cell imaging; suborbital rocket; microgravity; immune cells; cytoskeleton; nucleus

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Thiel, C.S.; Tauber, S.; Lauber, B.; Polzer, J.; Seebacher, C.; Uhl, R.; Neelam, S.; Zhang, Y.; Levine, H.; Ullrich, O. Rapid Morphological and Cytoskeletal Response to Microgravity in Human Primary Macrophages. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 2402.

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