2002 Volume 16 Issue 1 Pages 12-17
A major issue in radiation and space biology is whether gene expression levels are altered in cells exposed to gravity-changing stress. In the present study, genes up- or down-regulated in radiation-sensitive human RSa cells cultured under gravity-changing conditions, were identified using a PCR-based mRNA differential display method. Exposure of cells to gravity-changing stress was performed by free-fall with a drop-shaft facility or by an airplane-conducted parabolic flight. Among the candidates for gravity-changing stress-responsive genes obtained by the differential display analysis, the lactate dehydrogenase A gene (LDH-A) was confirmed by Northern blotting analysis to exhibit increased expression levels. The gravity-changing stress consisted of a combination of microgravity and hypergravity. However, exposure of the cells to hypergravity produced by centrifuge only slightly affected the LDH-A mRNA expression. Thus, LDH-A was found to be a candidate for the genes which play a role in the cellular response to gravity-changing stress, and mainly to microgravity.