Microgravity-induced apoptosis in cultured glial cells

  • BM Uva | support@pagepress.org PAGEPress Office, Pavia, Italy.
  • MA Masini
  • M Sturla
  • F Bruzzone
  • M Giuliani
  • G Tagliafierro
  • F Strollo


Apoptosis is a form of naturally occurring cell death that plays fundamental roles during embryonic developement. In adults, it neatly disposes of cells damaged by injuries provoked by external causes such as UV radiation, ionisation and heat shock. Alteration of the gravity vector may be one of the external apoptosis inducers. Neurophysiological impairment signs were seen during space flights in astronauts, but very few studies were carried out on the nervous system and none at the cellular level. In this study, we submitted cultured C6 glioma cells to microgravity (0xg) of varying duration, obtained by clinorotation in a Fokker three-dimensional clinostat for 15min, 30min, 1h, 20h or 32h. After 30min at 0xg, numerous nuclei underwent the classical morphological alterations (chromatin condensation, nuclear fragmentation, apoptotic bodies) that lead to the programmed cell death. After 30min at 0xg, immunostaining for the enzyme caspase-7 was present in the cytoplasm of many cells concurrently with DNA fragmentation identified by the TUNEL method. At 32h, the number of apoptotic nuclei was much reduced indicating the ability of glial cells to adapt to altered gravity.


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How to Cite
Uva, B., Masini, M., Sturla, M., Bruzzone, F., Giuliani, M., Tagliafierro, G., & Strollo, F. (2010). Microgravity-induced apoptosis in cultured glial cells. European Journal of Histochemistry, 46(3), 209-14. https://doi.org/10.4081/1681