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Space PhysiologyDelegates from countries in several continents, including Europe, South America, Central America, North America and Asia attended an outstanding Space Physiology Satellite meeting on Saturday June 1rst 2019 in Cuba. This symposium crossed borders and oceans to bring together experts in space physiology and medicine at Varadero Beach, located about two hours east of Havana. Cuba has the distinction of having one crew member, Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez, who flew on the Soviet space station Mir. Moreover, Cuba originated the famous Cuban Boot countermeasure;(1) and Varadero Beach was where many cosmonauts recovered after their prolonged space flights.

This satellite meeting directly followed the PANAM-2019 Physiology without Borders congress during 27-31 May 2019 in Havana, Cuba. Our follow-on Space Physiology satellite symposium stimulated creative exchanges of ideas and generated collaborative possibilities among attendees. All delegates who presented talks and contributed to discussions voiced much appreciation for the quality of the meeting, hospitality and expertise of the organizers and the friendliness of the Cuban people in general.

The following presenters and their titles were given at the Space Physiology Satellite meeting and most are available as short communications in the present issue of this Journal.

Welcome was given by Alberto Juan Dorta Contreras, who was the President of the Local Organizing Committee of the 2nd Pan American Congress of Physiological Sciences and he also presented a paper about the Cuban medical experiments on Tamayo-Romanenko flight and their contributions to Space Flights.(2)

Later several papers were presented such as Physiology and Exercise during Deep Space Missions by Alan Hargens from United States who reviewed previous exercise hardware and recommended better exercise concepts for astronauts on deep-space missions. A short communication is follows in this issue. Tatjana Paunesku spoke about the Space Radiation that the astronauts suffer in their flights and the consequences of it.

Later an important paper about the possible stress that the future Mars missions have to suffer in an experiment of a group of selected women in an isolated environment. This paper by a young scientist Noah C. Venables and his team. is also provided in this issue.

Professor Laurence Vico (Lyon, France) presented an outstanding paper concerning the consequences of the spaceflight asking on the skeleton of several cosmonauts. You can find her review in this issue as well. Professor Susan Bloomfield (United States) presented a paper Modeling Reduced Gravity Environments and Exposures to Space Radiation(3) Moreover, Professor Brinda Rana from the same country reviewed molecular and -omic adaptations to long-duration space travel based on tests of identical twins in space.(4)

Jojo Sayson from United States presented his experiences in exercise countermeasures for the spine in microgravity and Professor Guido Ferreti from Italy discussed a mathematical approach to the maximal oxygen consumption concept. Both have provided mini-reviews in this issue. Importantly, Aubrie O' Rourke from the United States discussed the surprising invasion of microbes from astronauts within the International Space Station.

Bolivia is a country whose population has adapted to living in a high-altitude and thus, hypoxic environment. Based on his studies, Professor Gustavo Zubieta-Calleja (Bolivia) spoke about Space Travel in a High-Altitude Environment: Biology Bypassing the Pressure Laws of Physics and BioSpaceForming. A short communication of his paper is located in this issue. Finally and importantly, Professor Richard Hughson from Canada presented an extensive review of vascular adaptations to spaceflight: Results from the Vascular Series Experiments. A short communication from his extensive studies on orbit is provided in this issue as well.

Delegates, including myself, wish to acknowledge and congratulate the organizers of the meeting and we hope to see all the participants with a larger group for another meeting in Cuba. Most importantly, we thank and congratulate Professor Dorta and his team for collecting and reviewing many results from our satellite meeting for publication in Revista Cubana de Investigaciones Biomédicas.
Alan Hargens
212 lecturas


Juan Mario Junco Rodríguez, Daymé Hernández Requejo, Enrique Iglesias Pérez, Yaxsier de armas rodriguez
144 lecturas


Comparative assessment of electrocardiographic parameters of some birds in ilorin-an essential diagnostic toolIntroduction: Cardiovascular disease is an important cause of death in birds. Spontaneous turkey cardiomyopathy (STC; round heart), ruptured aorta and sudden death account for over 50% in avians. The diagnosis is usually based on history and gross examination. This work was designed to assess the electrocardiographic parameters of various birds as alternative/additional means of clinical diagnosis.
Objective: of this study was to identify every aspect of the Lead II ECG wave form. The electrocardiogram is a useful tool in avian medicine as it can be utilized to measure heart rate and to detect arrhythmias, cardiac chamber enlargement, and electrical conductance abnormalities.
Methods: EDAN 10 Veterinary electrocardiographic equipment made in China; with a 200 mm/s paper speed and a sensitivity of 100 mm/mV was used to measure the electrocardiographic. The five alligator clip electrodes were fixed directly to the skin under the feather- on the forearms (muscular part of the wing), on the hind limbs above the stifle joint, and the heart as described earlier by Azeez et al, (2017). Birds were placed on lateral recumbency. The EDAN was connected to the laptop and information about each bird was recorded and saved. Birds considered include Broilers, Domestic duck, White geese, Chinese geese, Laying birds (chicken), point of lay birds and Turkey. They were all carefully restrained. 5 birds from each group were used.
Results: The ECG exhibited positive P wave, inverted (Q)RS and positive T wave in all of them. S-S interval was regular in turkey and duck, irregular in chicken and Chinese geese. The PR interval in the Laying birds and Broilers were very longer with overlap by QRS. The (Q)RS was shorter (29-44ms)in the chicken with very short amplitude, longer (50-65ms)in turkey and duck with longer amplitude. No significant difference in the QRS within the groups. QT interval was longer in turkey, geese and duck (297-456ms) but shorter in chicken.
Conclusions: Electrocardiography is a useful diagnostic tool in birds. However, while interpreting electrocardiographic, Clinicians should always consider history, clinical findings and laboratory results before final diagnosis. More emphasis should be place on use of electrocardiographic by Veterinarians and Clinicians in handling cases of cardiovascular issues in birds.

Oyebisi Mistura Azeez, Basiru Afisu, Adah Adekole Silvanus, Helen Olaifa Folashade, Akanni Ameen Soliu, Hauwa Ambali, Moshood Bolaji, Bolanle Balogun Rashidat
167 lecturas
IgG anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibody index as a measure of the naturally-acquired immune intrathecal response in a neuroepidemiological studyIntroduction: The presence of IgG anti-Toxoplasma gondii has been used as an indicator to measure the naturally-acquired immune intrathecal response due to the polyclonal and polyspecific intrathecal response developed in neuroinflammation processes. The absence of anti- Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in a subject who had been exposed to the parasite could be seeded as immunocompromised. The aim of the study is determine cases of autoimmunity and immunodeficiency.
Objective: Demonstrate whether the IgG anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibody index can be used as an indicator of a population immune status seen through patients with neuroinflammatory processes.
Methods: Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum samples were taken from 64 pediatric patients with intrathecal synthesis of antibodies and IgG anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibody indexes (AI) were determined.
Results: The sample was divided in three intervals according to Hansotto Reiber investigations (·0.6; 0.6-1.5; ·1.5) and a mean interval ±1SD between 0.23 and 1.12. The groups were quite similar regarding to clinic and demographic characteristics; there were statics differences on anti-Toxoplasma gondii AI (p<0.01) and the presence of domestic animals (p=0.04). In the group with AI·1.5, the 83.3% had positive the Measles-Rubella-Zoster reaction, indicative of active autoimmune disease. On the group with AI·0.6 were analyzed six different variables trying to find possible cases with immunodeficiencies: risk factors to contract toxoplasmosis; subjective clinical of immunocompromise; a test to detect immunodeficiencies; response against vacunal antigens and humoral response determined by IgG levels in serum. The immunodeficiencies test was the variable with higher statistical significance (p= 0.047).
Conclusions: The conclusion was that is possible to find subjects with autoimmune disorder and other ones with immunocompromise through the IgG anti- Toxoplasma gondii index by the developed investigation strategy.
Mileydis Cruz Quevedo, William Castillo González, Alberto Juan Dorta Contreras
113 lecturas
Exercise Countermeasures for the Spine in MicrogravityWeakness and neuromuscular deconditioning of the anti-gravity spine muscles develop after 6-month missions in space. There is also a high incidence of herniated nucleus pulposus in cervical and lumbar discs with back pain post-flight. Prolonged microgravity reduces the physiological loading forces needed for spine homeostasis and may alter neuromuscular postural reflexes leading to injury upon return to 1G. Nine astronauts were tested using the Biering-Sorensen test to measure spine isometric endurance pre- and post-flight. The results show significant decrements in muscle isometric endurance and correlates with atrophy of the multifidus, erector spinae, quadratus lumborum and psoas, reduced cross-sectional area and functional cross-sectional area with MRI measurements. Current ISS exercise countermeasures appear to be insufficient in mitigating loss of spinal function due to lack of specifically designed exercises to address specific antigravity muscles. Intensity of resistance loading is proposed to be specific to the muscle isoform that needs the most optimal mechanotransduction using adjustable pulley resistance vectors in line or parallel to the target muscle fibre orientations. Pulley apparatus may be in the form of flywheel or pneumatic derived resistance. Since antigravity muscles are predominantly Type I muscle isoform, endurance and stability are the main functional qualities which would require higher repetitions in good form, moderate resistance, and multiple sets. This proposal is intended to define efficient type of spine exercises to counter the maladaptive effects from prolonged spaceflight and lead to accepted countermeasures. Supported by NASA Grants NNXlOAM18G and NNX13AM89G.
Joselito V Sayson, Alan R Hargens
247 lecturas
Neuroimmunological approach for evaluation of viral measles, mumps and rubella triple vaccineIntroduction: During the neuroinflammatory processes there are a poly-specific and polyclonal activation in the cerebrospinal fluid. It means that there can be quantified antibodies against all the components of the vaccines may have received.
Objective: To evaluate the immune response against measles, mumps and rubella in vaccinated pediatric patients.
Methods: All the serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) paired samples from pediatric patients with neurological symptoms, that were submitted to hospitals from Havana City and were performed a lumbar puncture, were collected. Serum and CSF IgG, albumin were measured by immune-diffusion techniques using NOR and LC Partigen Immunoplates (Siemens, Marburg) and specific antibodies against measles, mumps and rubella were quantified by ELISA kits (Enzygnost, Siemens, Marburg). Reibergrams were employed in order to determine if there was IgG intrathecal synthesis. Later on, antibody index against the specific virus were calculated.
Results: In all the neuroimmune inflammation process were found antibody index against measles, mumps and rubella in a different ample confidence variation among the different virus. Antibodies against mumps are significantly different from the other ones. It could be due to a natural different immune response or due to a deficient vaccine quality lot. Also it was possible to identify six pediatric patients that had no immune antibody index at all. It coincides with a transient hypogammaglobulinemia of infancy in such patients.
Conclusions: This neuroimmunological approach can be used to evaluate the immune status in pediatric population.
William Castillo González, Mileydis Cruz Quevedo, José Alejandro Rodríguez Pérez, Eneida Barrios Lamoth, Cristóbal González Losada, Alberto Juan Dorta Contreras
132 lecturas
Vascular Adaptations to Spaceflight: Results from the Vascular Series ExperimentsLong-duration spaceflight on the International Space Station (ISS) could be detrimental to astronaut health because of the prolonged period of physical unloading and other stressful factors including isolation and radiation in the microgravity environment. The Vascular Series of experiments was designed to investigate the effects of spaceflight on the arteries. We tested the hypothesis that removal of the normal head-to-foot gravitational force experienced everyday on Earth would cause increased stiffness of the carotid arteries as well as development of insulin resistance that could also impact vascular health. In Vascular, the first experiment of the series, results confirmed increased carotid artery stiffness and insulin resistance; but, the study also revealed a more generalized artery stiffness extending into the lower body. Hormonal and oxidative stress markers could have also influenced vascular health. The next experiments in the Vascular Series, Vascular Echo and Vascular Aging will advance investigations of vascular health employing the ECHO device that has remote robotic control of the ultrasound by experts on the ground to enhance image acquisition while on ISS, and to follow post-flight recovery processes. Vascular Aging will introduce oral glucose tolerance testing on ISS to further quantify the magnitude and the cause of insulin resistance and impaired glucose handling during spaceflight. Together, these studies will provide critical information about the extent of vascular changes during spaceflight and will determine whether all factors that contribute to increased arterial stiffness are reversible, or if there are long-term cardiovascular health consequences.
Richard Hughson, Danielle K Greaves, Philippe Arbeille
249 lecturas
Stress and Coping in Extreme Environments: Implications for a Mars MissionIntroduction: There are very few studies of all-women teams performing in highly challenging isolated, confined, and extreme environments.
Objective: To evaluate individual stressors, coping methods, and team functioning over an extended highly challenging trek.
Methods: Subjects in this study were six British military officers who successfully traversed the Antarctic continent on skis over a 61-day 1700 km trek. The measures administered and their timing were as follows: Pre-expedition - Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire-Brief Form (MPQ-BF); Triarchic Psychopathy Measure (TriPM); Portrait Values Questionnaire (PVQ); Expedition - weekly rating form (WRF) assessing stress, coping, and team decision making; Post-expedition - debriefing interview and PVQ.
Results: The group had high scores on personality scales indicating traits of Achievement, Social Closeness, Absorption (imagination), and Boldness, although individual differences were evident. Subjects gave high ratings to PVQ Hedonism (pleasure), Stimulation, and Self-direction values; the Tradition value was rated low. Subjects reported primarily positive experiences on the ice, and used both cognitive and behavioral coping methods to deal with stress. A salient issue was resolving individual goals among team members vs. team goals in the pace and distance covered each day. Other themes related to the importance of honesty in communication for team success, dealing with friction between two dominant individuals, and proving oneself through the physical challenge.
Discussion: The implications of these findings for a Mars mission include the importance of enhancing the effectiveness of both pre-flight training and the countermeasures developed for use during flight to deal with interpersonal and work performance stressors. The effective use of ground-based analogs such as expedition teams operating in challenging and extreme environments is discussed.
Noah C. Venables, Gloria R. Leon
168 lecturas
Guido Ferretti
199 lecturas
Space travel in a high altitude environment: Biology by-passing the pressure laws of physics and BioSpaceFormin gAfter the accident on Apolo1, with 100% oxygen in the cabin, all spaceships now travel with a sea level pressure and 20.9% oxygen. Extravehicular activity requires lowering the pressures. It is complex and time consuming. Permanently reducing the cabin pressure would be a great advantage. A paper by NASA in 2013, proposed for the spaceflight environment: 8 psia / 32% O2 (reducing the sea level pressure (14.7 psi / 20.9% O 2), but increasing the fraction of oxygen in order to replicate the sea level PaO2). However, we question this proposal, as it is based on the fear of hypoxia. Our proposal back in 2007 suggested that space travel should take place in a hypobaric environment of 9.5 psi / 20.9% O2 (like in the city of La Paz-Bolivia (3,600m) [11,811ft]). The logic behind it is that at all altitudes on planet Earth, life thrives in a 20.9% Oxygen, 79% Nitrogen. PaCO2 also needs to be considered. In a physiological manner, over 200 million inhabitants of high altitude above 2,000m [6,561ft], have perfectly normal lives. The astronauts could benefit of a Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) suit pressure of only 149 mmHg [2.8psi] (lighter, much more comfortable and efficient spacesuits) and space travel anemia could be reduced. The preparation prior-to-space travel could be carried out by adapting and living in a high altitude environment. We consider chronic hypoxia a fundamental step in BioSpaceForming (Adaptation to life in space). As all living beings start to move out of Earth into space, they will have to change their biology and adapt to new conditions.
Gustavo Rafael Zubieta-Calleja, Natalia Zubieta-DeUrioste
240 lecturas
Alan Hargens, Lonnie G Petersen
171 lecturas
Yang Sook Chun, Alan R. Hargens
166 lecturas