Artificial microgravity causes suppression of 99 key immune genes, leading to T-cell suppression
Researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center have identified a set of key immune-response genes that do not turn on in a weightless environment. The discovery is another clue in the effort to solve an almost 40-year-old mystery: why the human immune system does not function well in the weightlessness of space.
The researchers, led by SFVAMC biochemist and former astronaut Millie Hughes-Fulford, PhD, identified a signaling pathway called PKA that in a gravity field responds to the presence of a pathogen by stimulating the expression of 99 genes that in turn cause the activation of T-cells, which are essential for proper immune function.
Steve Tokar | EurekAlert!
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