Electrophysiological experiments in microgravity: lessons learned and future challenges.

Wüest, Simon; Gantenbein, Benjamin; Ille, Fabian; Egli, Marcel (2018). Electrophysiological experiments in microgravity: lessons learned and future challenges. npj microgravity, 4, p. 7. Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/s41526-018-0042-3

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Advances in electrophysiological experiments have led to the discovery of mechanosensitive ion channels (MSCs) and the identification of the physiological function of specific MSCs. They are believed to play important roles in mechanosensitive pathways by allowing for cells to sense their mechanical environment. However, the physiological function of many MSCs has not been conclusively identified. Therefore, experiments have been developed that expose cells to various mechanical loads, such as shear flow, membrane indentation, osmotic challenges and hydrostatic pressure. In line with these experiments, mechanical unloading, as experienced in microgravity, represents an interesting alternative condition, since exposure to microgravity leads to a series of physiological adaption processes. As outlined in this review, electrophysiological experiments performed in microgravity have shown an influence of gravity on biological functions depending on ion channels at all hierarchical levels, from the cellular level to organs. In this context, calcium signaling represents an interesting cellular pathway, as it involves the direct action of calcium-permeable ion channels, and specific gravitatic cells have linked graviperception to this pathway. Multiple key proteins in the graviperception pathways have been identified. However, measurements on vertebrae cells have revealed controversial results. In conclusion, electrophysiological experiments in microgravity have shown that ion-channel-dependent physiological processes are altered in mechanically unloaded conditions. Future experiments may provide a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute for Surgical Technology & Biomechanics ISTB

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Wüest, Simon and Gantenbein, Benjamin

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

2373-8065

Publisher:

Nature Publishing Group

Language:

English

Submitter:

Benjamin Gantenbein

Date Deposited:

25 Apr 2018 08:32

Last Modified:

26 Oct 2019 15:12

Publisher DOI:

10.1038/s41526-018-0042-3

PubMed ID:

29619409

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.114572

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/114572

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