The research theme of Professor Masaaki Murakami of Hokkaido University and others to investigate the relationship between immunity and gravity was adopted as part of the research theme using the 27 International Space Station experimental building "Kibo" of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). it was done.It is expected that the mechanism by which the gateway reflex, which causes an inflammatory reaction due to the stimulus of gravity, will occur will be elucidated.

 We always live under the force of gravity, but there are few studies that investigate the effects of gravity on health and illness, or what kind of abnormalities occur when gravity disappears.However, clarifying these effects is important for the proper management of astronauts' health.In previous studies using mice, Professor Murakami and his colleagues found that gravity activates the sympathetic nerves by stimulating the sensory nerves of the muscles in the calf.This triggers the formation of a gate through which blood flows into the lumbar spinal cord, causing excessive inflammation.We also discovered that the formation position of the gate can be freely moved by artificial electrical stimulation, and we named this the gateway reflex.

 In this research, we will examine what happens to these gateway reflections in the microgravity state of "Kibo".Experiments in space are related to gravity, which makes it difficult to perform accurate verifications on Earth.It is hoped that this study will fully elucidate the mechanism of the gateway reflex and prove the importance of gravity in the inflammatory response.Once the whole picture is revealed, it will be useful for astronaut health management.In addition, it can be expected that various inflammatory reactions can be controlled even on the ground. JAXA plans to set the stage for the feasibility of space experiments within two years.

Hokkaido University

Strong cooperation with industry and regions "Practical science unique to Hokkaido University" leads the world

The origin of Hokkaido University dates back to Sapporo Agricultural College, which was established in 1876.Throughout its long history, we have cultivated the basic principles of "frontier spirit," "cultivating internationality," "education for all," and "emphasis on practical studies."Based on this philosophy, he has a high level of academic background that is internationally accepted, and has accurate judgment and a leader […].

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