The Effects of Spaceflight on Mucin Production in the Mouse Uterus

Allan Forsman, Heath A Nier

Abstract


The effects of microgravity on biological tissues are relatively unexplored, especially in regard to the mammalian female reproductive system. To begin to address this issue, the uterine tissue of female mice flown on NASA shuttle mission STS-118 was studied. Three sets of female mice, each consisting of 12 animals, were utilized in this study: flight animals, ground control animals, and baseline animals. The flight animals were housed in the Animal Enclosure Module (AEM) of the Commercial Biomedical Testing Module-2 (CBMT-2) which was a part of the payload of the shuttle’s mid-deck locker. Ground control animals were housed in ground based AEMs which were kept in a room specifically designed to mimic the environmental conditions of the flight units with regard to temperature, humidity, and light/dark cycles on a 48 hour delay. Baseline animals were housed in standard rodent cages at ambient temperature and humidity and a 12/12 light dark cycle. The uterine tissue was stained using an Alcian Blue Periodic Acid Schiff staining procedure and the apical mucin layer thickness was subsequently analyzed. Analysis of the mucin layer in the uterus revealed that the thickness of the mucin layer in the flight tissue was significantly thicker that the mucin layers of the ground control and baseline tissue.

References


Arbeille, P., Achaibou, F., Fomina, G., Pottier, J.M., Porcher, M. 1996. Regional blood flow in microgravity: adaptation and deconditioning. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 28(10):70-79

Armstrong, J.W., Nelson, K.A., Simske, S.J, Luttges, M.W., Iandolo, J.J. Chapes, S.K. 1993. Skeletal unloading causes organ-specific changes in immune cell responses. J. Appl. Physiol. 75(6):2734-2739

Burden, H.W., Lawrence Z.J., Jonnalagadda, I.E., Church, P., Hodson, M. 1995. Hypophyseal-ovarian function in rat dams flown on the NIH.R1 study. ASGBS Bulletin 9(1):98

Burden, H.W., Lawrence Z.J., Jonnalagadda, I.E., Davis, P., Hodson, M. 1997. Effects of spaceflight on ovarian-hypophyseal function in postpartum rats. J. Reprod. Fert. 109(2):193-197

Burden, H.W., Poole, M.C., Zary, J. Jeansoone, B., Alberts, J.R. 1998. The effects of spaceflight during gestation on rat uterine smooth muscle. J. Grav. Physiol. 5(2):23-29

Carraway, K.L., Fregien, N., Carraway, C.A.C., Carraway, III., K.L. 1992. Tumor sialomucin complexes as tumor antigens and modulators of cellular interactions and proliferation. J. Cell Sci. 103:299-307

Carrawya, K.L. and Idris, N. 2001. Regulation of sialomucin comlex/Muc4 in the female rat reproductive tract. Biochem. Soc. Trans. 29(2):162-166

Chakrabarti, A., Stoecker, A., Schatten, H. 1995. Modification of experimental protocols for space shuttle flight and applications for the analysis of cytoskeletal structures during fertilization, cell division and development in sea urchin embryos. AIAA 95-109:1-10

Chapes, S.K., Mastro A.M., Sonnenfeld, G, Berry, W.D. 1993. Antiorthostatic suspension as a model for the effects of spaceflight on the immune system. J. Leukoc. Biol. 54:227-235

Chapes, S.K., Simske, S.J., Forsman, A.D., Bateman, T.A., Zimmerman, R.J. 1999. Effects of spaceflight and IGF-1 on immune function. Adv. space. Res. 23(12):1955-1964

Delp, M.D. 1999. Myogenic and vasoconstrictor responsiveness of skeletal muscle arterioles is diminished by hindlimb unloading. J. Appl. Physiol. 86(4):1178-1184

Droppert, P.M. 1990. The effects of microgravity on the skeletal system – a review. J. Br. Interplanet Soc. 43(1):19-24

Forsman, A.D. 2012. The effects of simulated microgravity on the seminiferous tubules of rats. Adv. in Space Res. 49:807-811

Gandolfi, F., Brevini, T.A.L., Richardson, L., Brown, C.R., Moor, R.M. 1989. Characterization of proteins secreted by sheep oviduct epithelial cells and their function in embryonic development. Development 106(2):303–312

Gipson, I. K., Spurr-Michaud, S. J., Tisdale, A. S., Kublin, C., Cintron, C., Keutmann, H. 1995. Stratified squamous epithelia produce mucin-like glycoproteins. Tissue & Cell, 27:397-404

Huss, D., Navaluri, R., Faulkner, K., and Dickman, J.D. 2010. Development of otolith receptors in Japanese quail. Dev. Neurobiol. 70:436-455

Huang, S., Johnson, K. 1995. Cleavage stage blastomeres of the Xenopus embryo change fate under novel gravity. ASGSB Bull. 9(1):72

Idris, N., and Carraway, K.L 1999. Sialomucin complex (Muc4) expression in the rat female reproductive tract. Biol. of Reprod. 61:1431-1438

Ijiri, K. 1998. Development of space-fertilized eggs and the formation of primordial germ cells in the embryos of medaka fish. Adv. In Space Res. 21(8/9):1155-1158

Jennings, R.T., Baker, R.S. 2000. Gynecological and reproductive issues for women in space: a review. Obstet Gynecol Surv 55:109-116

Kamiya, H., Sasaki, S., Ikeuchi, T., Umemoto, Y., Tatsura, H., Hayashi, Y., Kaneko, S., Kohri, K. 2003. Effects of simulated microgravity on testosterone and sperm motility in mice. J. Androl. 24(6):885-890

McNeer, R.R., Carraway, C.A.C., Fregien, N.L., Carraway, K.L. 1998. Characterization of the expression and steroid hormone control of sialomucin complex in the rat uterus: implications for uterine receptivity. J. Cell. Physiol. 176:110-119

Milstead, J.R., Simske, S.J., Bateman, T.A. 2004. Spaceflight and hindlimb suspension disuse models in mice. Biomed. Sci. Instrum. 40:105-110

Moody, S. A., Golden, C. 2000. Developmental biology research in space: Issues and directions in the era of the international space station. Dev. Biol. 228:1-5

Motabagani, M. A. 2007. Morphological and morphometric study on the effect of simulated microgravity on rat testis. Chin. J. Physiol. 50(4):199-209

Pattison, A., Pattison, T., Schechter, J. 1991. Pars distalis vasculature: Discovery shuttle STS-29 rats compared to ground-based antiorthostatic rats. Anat. Rec. 231:347-350

Renengar, R.H., Owens, C.R., Whitehead. D. 1995. Morphological and functional parameters of placentas from rat dams flown on the NIH.R1 study. ASGSB Bull. 9(1):98

Schenker, E., and Warmflash, D.M. Reproduction in Space. Space Developmental Biology – Review Reading

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/80170224/Reproduction-In-Space

Serova, L. and Denisova, L. 1982. The effect of weightlessness on the reproductive function of mammals. Physiologist 25(suppl):S9-S12

Setlow, R.B. 2003. The hazards of space travel. Science and Society 4:1013-1016

Skrobanek, P., Baranovska, M., Sarnikova, B., Jurani, M. 2008. Effect of simulated microgravity on sexual development of female Japanese quail. ACTA Vet. BRNO 77:3-10

Smith, I.M., Forsman, A.D. 2012. Ovarian Follicular and Luteal Development in the Spaceflight Mouse. ASGSB Bulletin. In Press

Smith, R.C. and Neff, A.W. 1986. Organization of Xenopus egg cytoplasm:response to simulated microgravity. J. Exp. Zool. 238(3):365-378

Souza, K.A., Black, S.D., Wassersug, R.J. 1995. Amphibian development in the virtual absence of gravity. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 92(6):1975-1978

Surveyor, G.A., Gendler, S.J., Pemberton, L., Das, S.K. Chakraborty, I., Julian, J., Pimental, R.A., Wegner, C.C., Dey, S.K., Carson, D.D. 1995. Expression and steroid hormonal control of Muc-1 in the mouse uterus. Endocrinology 136(8):3639-3647

Tash, J.S., Bracho, G. 1999. Microgravity alters protein phosphorylation changes during initiation of sea urchin sperm motility. Faseb J. 13(suppl):S43-54

Tash, J.S., Gupta, V., Holets, L., Roby, K.F. 2011. STS-131: Spaceflight has negative impacts on the morphology, follicular health, and steroid hormone receptors in ovaries and uterine horns in C57Bl/6J mice. 18th IAA Humans in Space Symposium

Tipton, C.M., Overton, J.M., Joyner, M.J., Hargens, A.R. 1987. Local fluid shifts in humans and rats: Comparison of simulation models with actual weightlessness. Physiologist 30:S117-S120

Vernos, I., Gonzalez, J., Calleja, M., Marco, R. 1989. Microgravity effect the oogenesis and development of embryos of Drosophila melanogaster laid in Space Shuttle during the biorack experiment (ESA). Int. J. Dev. Biol. 33(2):213-226.

Warren, L., Spicer, S.S. 1961. Biochemical and histochemical identification of sialic acid containing mucins of rodent vagina and salivary glands. J Histochem Cytochem 9(N4):400-408

Whitten, W.K. 1959. Occurance of anoestrous in mice caged in groups. J. Endocrin.18:102-107

Wong, A.M., DeSantis, M. 1997. Rat gestation during spaceflight: Outcomes for dams and their offspring born after return to earth. Integr Psychol Behav Sci 32(4):322-342


Full Text: PG. 20-28 -- PDF