Findings from recent studies by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency examining musculoskeletal atrophy in space and on Earth

Satoshi Furukawa, Masahiro Chatani, Atsushi Higashitani, Akira Higashibata, Fuminori Kawano, Takeshi Nikawa, Takuro Numaga-Tomita, Toshihiko Ogura, Fuminori Sato, Atsuko Sehara-Fujisawa, Masahiro Shinohara, Toru Shimazu, Satoru Takahashi, Haruko Watanabe-Takano

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The musculoskeletal system provides the body with correct posture, support, stability, and mobility. It is composed of the bones, muscles, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, joints, and other connective tissues. Without effective countermeasures, prolonged spaceflight under microgravity results in marked muscle and bone atrophy. The molecular and physiological mechanisms of this atrophy under unloaded conditions are gradually being revealed through spaceflight experiments conducted by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency using a variety of model organisms, including both aquatic and terrestrial animals, and terrestrial experiments conducted under the Living in Space project of the Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology. Increasing our knowledge in this field will lead not only to an understanding of how to prevent muscle and bone atrophy in humans undergoing long-term space voyages but also to an understanding of countermeasures against age-related locomotive syndrome in the elderly.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18
Journalnpj Microgravity
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

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