Microgravity: A Paradigm to Understand the Stem Cells Behavior and Function
Publication date: Available online 8 November 2018
Author(s): Karan Pal Singh, Ashish Jain, Veena Puri, Sanjeev Puri
The very thought of life on other planets has enticed the human minds to broaden horizon of his thoughts both out of shear curiosity, and to explore various life forms those may exist on these planets. While we look for these answers, human race is equally challenged at different levels by every space ventures that are being undertaken worldwide. Of these, the health and physiology is of prime importance, owing to potentially variable effects, the very stakeholder may experience at the helm of all explorations. Among many factors, the environment during space flight specifically due to the microgravity, astronauts experience many health difficulties. Understanding such health related issues necessitate knowing how does microgravity influence behavior of the functional unit of the human tissues, the cells. Present review focuses on analyzing the impact of microgravity on behavior of primitive cells types, the stem cells, present in almost all adult tissues providing much needed support against routine wear and tear of body by targeted differentiation. During space flights, it is believed that some of the cells are very sensitive to mechanical unloading which might be the potential cause of health problems faced by astronauts during and after space travel. To understand such intricacies and how stem cells are affected, the present review has been compiled to discuss the effects of microgravity on the stem cells and to understand pathophysiology associated during space travel.
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