Biological Sciences in Space
Online ISSN : 1349-967X
Print ISSN : 0914-9201
ISSN-L : 0914-9201
Effects of space environment on embryonic growth up to hatching of salamander eggs fertilized and developed during orbital flights
Lydie Gualandris-ParisotDavid HussonAlain BautzDanielle DurandPaulette KanChristian AimarHervé MembreAnne-Marie DupratChristian Dournon
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2002 Volume 16 Issue 1 Pages 3-11


In vertebrates, only few experiments have been performed in microgravity to study the embryonic development from fertilization. To date, these concern only amphibian and fish. We report here a study on the embryonic development of Pleurodeles waltl (urodele amphibian) eggs oviposited in microgravity. The experiment was performed twice on board the Mir space station and the data obtained included video recording and morphological, histological and immunocytological analyses. The data confirm that the microgravity conditions have effects during the embryonic period, particularly during cleavage and neurulation, inducing irregular segmentation and abnormal closure of the neural tube. Moreover, we observed several abnormalities hither to undescribed corresponding to cortical cytoplasm movements, a decrease of cell adhesion and a loss of cells. These abnormalities were temporary and subsequently reversible. The young larvae that hatched during the flight displayed normal morphology and swimming behavior after landing. The results obtained in the urodele Pleurodeles waltl are in accordance with those observed earlier in the anuran Xenopus laevis and in the fish Oryzias latipes.

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© 2002 by Japanese Society for Biological Sciences in Space
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