As reported last September 2020 in Science Direct simulated microgravity appears to disarm human NK-cells and inhibits anti-tumor cytotoxicity in vitro.
A key conclusion for the BioGravity™ Platform Team at MichiganSpaceStation.com is that Natural Killer (NK) cell function is altered after simulated microgravity (SMG).
Secondarily, gravitational unloading within simulated microgravity devices such as the BioGravity™ Platform causes reductions in NK-cell degranulation and effector cytokine production in surprising ways.
Cell degranulation are studied under colored scanning electron micrographs (SEM) after varying duration and intensity of gravitational unloading aboard the BioGravity™ Platform. To wit, the holy grail is an allogeneic NK cell line that minimizes allergic reactions while improving both activation and killing abilities of cancer tumors. One key may be in regulating degranulation under microgravity incubation.
What’s new is that cell degranulation can be studied under colored scanning electron micrographs (SEM) after varying duration and intensity of gravitational unloading aboard the BioGravity™ Platform.
Degranulation is the process by mast cells that release chemicals when activated. Shown here are mast cells — a type of white blood cell that are found in connective tissue. Within the cell’s cytoplasm are granules containing chemical mediators, including histamine and heparin. When the mast cell is activated, these granules are released into the tissues. Histamine is responsible for the symptoms of an allergic reaction in one example. Degranulation may also cause a signal cascade –sometimes known as a cytokine storm–when allogeneic therapies are introduced in vivo or in vitro.
With multiple BioGravity platforms on Earth attached to the Western Michigan University Medical Innovation Center, NK Cell developers, biotech and biopharma can speed dozens-to-thousands of experiments at once to maximize the development of their cell lines.
Immune system, Spaceflight, Rotary cell culture system, Cytokines, Leukemia
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