There is evidence that spaceflight poses acute and late risks on the central nervous system. To explore possible mechanisms, the proteomic changes following spaceflight in mouse brain were characterized. Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-135) was launched at the Kennedy Space Center on a 13-day mission. Within 3–5 hours after landing, brain tissue was collected to evaluate protein expression profiles using quantitative proteomic analysis. Our results showed that there were 26 proteins that were significantly altered after spaceflight in the grey and/or white matter. While there was no overlap between the white and grey matter in terms of individual proteins, there was overlap in terms of function, synaptic plasticity, vesical activity, protein/organelle transport, and metabolism. Our data demonstrate that exposure to the spaceflight environment induces significant changes in protein expression related to neuronal structure and metabolic function. This might lead to a significant impact on brain structural and functional integrity that could affect the outcome of space missions.
brain; spaceflight; microgravity; proteomics
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