Simulated microgravity altered the proliferation, apoptosis, and extracellular matrix formation of L929 fibroblasts and the transforming growth factor-β1/Smad3 signaling pathway

Yuan Yue, Jia Qi Yang, Sheng Yu Lu, Jun Ge, Hong Yun Nie, Kai Ge Liu, Fei Liu, Hao Li, Hong Feng Yan, Tao Zhang, Pei Ming Sun, Hong Wei Sun, Jian Wu Yang, Jin Lian Zhou, Yan Cui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Abstract: Exposure to microgravity can adversely affect the fitness of astronauts. The integrity of the skin plays a crucial role in protecting against mechanical forces and infections, fluid imbalance, and thermal dysregulation. In brief, the skin wound may cause unknown challenges to the implementation of space missions. Wound healing is a physiological process that relies on the synergistic action of inflammatory cells, extracellular matrix (ECM), and various growth factors to maintain the integrity of skin after trauma. Fibroblasts are present almost throughout the entire process of wound repair, especially in the scar formation at the endpoint of wound healing. However, there is limited knowledge about the extent to which fibroblasts are affected by the lack of gravity during wound healing. In this study, we utilized the rotary cell culture system, a ground-based facility that mimics the weightless condition, to study the alterations of L929 fibroblast cells under simulated microgravity (SMG). Our results demonstrated that the SM condition exerted negative influences on the proliferation and ECM formation of the L929 fibroblast. Whereas, the apoptosis of fibroblast was significantly upregulated upon exposure to SMG conditions. Moreover, the transforming growth factor-β1/Smad3 (TGF-β1/smad3) signaling pathway of L929 fibroblast related to wound repair was also altered significantly under a weightless environment. Overall, our study provided evidence that fibroblasts are strongly sensitive to SMG and elucidated the potential value of the TGF-β1/Smad3 signaling pathway modulating wound healing in the future practice of space medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13341
JournalSkin Research and Technology
Volume29
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • fibroblasts
  • L929 cells
  • RCCS
  • simulated microgravity
  • TGF-β1/Smad3
  • wound healing

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