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Changes in Exosome Release in Thyroid Cancer Cells after Prolonged Exposure to Real Microgravity in Space

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  • Petra M. Wise, University of Southern California
  • ,
  • Paolo Neviani, University of Southern California
  • ,
  • Stefan Riwaldt, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg
  • ,
  • Thomas Juhl Corydon
  • Markus Wehland
  • Markus Braun, DLR Deutsches Zentrum für Luft und Raumfahrt, Biomedizinisches Wissenschaftsunterstützungszentrum
  • ,
  • Marcus Krüger, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg
  • ,
  • Manfred Infanger, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg
  • ,
  • Daniela Grimm

Space travel has always been the man’s ultimate destination. With the ability of spaceflight though, came the realization that exposure to microgravity has lasting effects on the human body. To counteract these, many studies were and are undertaken, on multiple levels. Changes in cell growth, gene, and protein expression have been described in different models on Earth and in space. Extracellular vesicles, and in particular exosomes, are important cell-cell communicators, being secreted from almost all the cells and therefore, are a perfect target to further investigate the underlying reasons of the organism’s adaptations to microgravity. Here, we studied supernatants harvested from the CellBox-1 experiment, which featured human thyroid cancer cells flown to the International Space Station during the SpaceX CRS-3 cargo mission. The initial results show differences in the number of secreted exosomes, as well as in the distribution of subpopulations in regards to their surface protein expression. Notably, alteration of their population regarding the tetraspanin surface expression was observed. This is a promising step into a new area of microgravity research and will potentially lead to the discovery of new biomarkers and pathways of cellular cross-talk.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2132
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

    Research areas

  • Cell culture, Exosomes, Microgravity, Spaceflight, Tetraspanins, Thyroid cancer, Transmembrane pro-teins

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