Effects of gravity changes on thymic microenvironments – Publicly Invited Research

  1. A01 Akiyama
  2. A01 Ochi
  3. A01 Chatani
  4. A01 Seiki
  5. A01 Nikawa
  6. A01 Kawakami
  7. A01 Tomita
  8. A01 Honda
  1. A02 Shinohara
  2. A02 Maekawa
  3. A02 Ohgami
  4. A02 Nishimura
  5. A02 Kawano
  6. A02 Iwase
  7. A02 Furuichi
  8. A02 Myung
  9. A02 Kitamura
  1. A03 Nakamura
  2. A03 Harada
  3. A03 Ide
  4. A03 Shirai
  5. A03 Kakinuma
  1. B01 Lazarus
  2. B01 Miwa
  3. B01 Kunieda
  4. B01 Shimada
  5. B01 Kitaya
  6. B01 Sawano
Research Subject Effects of gravity changes on thymic microenvironments
Research Group Leader
Taishin Akiyama
  • Taishin Akiyama
    Associate Professor, The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo
Research Collaborator(s)
  • Hironobu Morita
    Professor, Graduate School of Medicine, Gifu University

The effects of spaceflight and gravity changes on immune systems have been well-studied. These studies typically focused on the reactivity and homeostasis of immune cells, such as lymphocytes and myeloid cells. However, the normal homeostasis of immune systems and effective immune responses require "microenvironments" in lymphoid tissues. These immunological microenvironments consist of stroma cells, such as epithelial cells and immune cells. At present, there are practically no studies regarding the effects of spaceflight and gravity changes on these stroma cells in lymphoid tissues.

In this project, we focus on thymic epithelial cells that are essential for T cell differentiation, and the elimination of self-reactive T cells in the thymus. We have just found that hypergravity induces changes in the gene expression profiles of murine thymic epithelial cells. Interestingly, this phenomenon cannot be explained by previously identified mechanisms. The aim of this study is to elucidate the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the effects of hypergravity and microgravity on gene expression profiles and the physiological functions of thymic epithelial cells.