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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effects of space flight and IGF-1 on immune function.

We tested the hypothesis that insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) would ameliorate space flight-induced effects on the immune system. Twelve male, Sprague-Dawley rats, surgically implanted with mini osmotic pumps, were subjected to space flight for 10 days on STS-77. Six rats received 10 mg/kg/day of IGF-1 and 6 rats received saline. Flight animals had a lymphocytopenia and granulocytosis which were reversed by IGF-1. Flight animals had significantly higher corticosterone levels than ground controls but IGF-1 did not impact this stress hormone. Therefore, the reversed granulocytosis did not correlate with serum corticosterone. Space flight and IGF-1 also combined to induce a monocytopenia that was not evident in ground control animals treated with IGF-1 or in animals subjected to space flight but given physiological saline. There was a significant increase in spleen weights in vivarium animals treated with IGF-1, however, this change did not occur in flight animals. We observed reduced agonist-induced lymph node cell proliferation by cells from flight animals compared to ground controls. The reduced proliferation was not augmented by IGF-1 treatment. There was enhanced secretion of TNF, IL-6 and NO by flight-animal peritoneal macrophages compared to vivarium controls, however, O2(-) secretion was not affected. These data suggest that IGF-1 can ameliorate some of the effects of space flight but that space flight can also impact the normal response to IGF-1. Grant Numbers: NAGW-1197, NAGW-2328.[1]


  1. Effects of space flight and IGF-1 on immune function. Chapes, S.K., Simske, S.J., Forsman, A.D., Bateman, T.A., Zimmerman, R.J. Advances in space research : the official journal of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR). (1999) [Pubmed]
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