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Individuals exposed to extended periods of spaceflight or prolongedhead-down-tilt bed rest often suffer from health hazards represented by cardiovascular deconditioning. Many studies have reported that alterations in vascular endothelial cells contribute to cardiovascular dysfunction induced by microgravity. Autophagy, a lysosomal degradation pathway, serves an adaptive role for survival, differentiation, and development in cellular homeostasis, and can be triggered by various environmental stimuli. However, whether autophagy can be induced in endothelial cells by real or simulated microgravity remains to be determined. This study was designed to investigate the effects of simulated microgravity on the activation of autophagy in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). We report here that clinorotation, a simulated model of microgravity, enhances autophagosome formation, increases LC3 and beclin-1 expression, and promotes the conversion of LC3-I to LC3-II in HUVECs. These results demonstrate that simulated microgravity for 48 h activates autophagy of vascular endothelial cells.


Yong-Chun Wang, Dong-Yuan Lu, Fei Shi, Shu Zhang, Chang-Bin Yang, Bing Wang, Xin-Sheng Cao, Ting-Yuan Du, Yuan Gao, Jiang-Dong Zhao, Xi-Qing Sun. Clinorotation enhances autophagy in vascular endothelial cells. Biochemistry and cell biology = Biochimie et biologie cellulaire. 2013 Oct;91(5):309-14

PMID: 24032680

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