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The Artificial Gravity Bed Rest Pilot Project: Effects on Knee Extensor and Plantar Flexor Muscle GroupsThe goal of this project was to examine the effects of artificial gravity (2.5 g) on skeletal muscle strength and key anabolic/catabolic markers known to regulate muscle mass. Two groups of subjects were selected for study: 1) a 21 day-bed rest (BR) control (C) group (N=7); and 2) an AG group (N=8), which was exposed to 21 days of bed-rest plus daily 1 hr exposures to AG (2.5 g). This particular experiment was part of an integrated AG Pilot Project sponsored by NASA/Johnson Space Center. The in vivo torque-velocity relationships of the knee extensors and plantar flexors of the ankle were determined pre and post treatment. Also, pre- and post treatment biopsy samples were obtained from both the vastus lateralis and soleus muscles and were used, in part, for a series of analyses on gene expression (mRNA abundance) of key factors implicated in the anabolic versus catabolic state of the muscle. Post/Pre toque-velocity determinations revealed greater decrements in knee extensor performance in the C versus AG group (P less than 0.04). The plantar flexor muscle group of the AG subjects actually demonstrated a net gain in torque-velocity relationship; whereas, in the C group the overall post/pre responses declined (AG vs C; P less than 0.001). Measurements of muscle fiber cross-sectional area (for both muscles) demonstrated a loss of approx. 20% in the C group while no losses were evident in the AG group. RT-PCR analyses of muscle biopsy specimens demonstrated that markers of growth and cytoskeletal integrity (IGF-1, IGF-1 BP4, mechano growth factor, total RNA, and pro-collagen 3a) were higher in the AG group, whereas catabolic markers (myostatin and atrogen) were elevated in the C group. Importantly, these patterns were seen in both muscles. Based on these observations we conclude that paradigms of AG have the potential to maintain the functional, biochemical, and structural homeostasis of skeletal muscle in the face of chronic unloading states. These findings also warrant further studies since it is likely that other robust paradigms of AG that employ various exercise strategies may be more effective in counteracting long duration unloading states as anticipated on the platforms of the Moon and Mars.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Caiozzo, V. J. (California Univ. Irvine, CA, United States)
Haddad, F. (California Univ. Irvine, CA, United States)
Lee, S. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Baker, M. (California Univ. Irvine, CA, United States)
Baldwin, K. M. (California Univ. Irvine, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
April 13, 2007
Subject Category
Aerospace Medicine
Meeting Information
28th Annual International Gravitational Physiology Meeting(San Antonio, TX)
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