Space research on organs and tissues

Marc E. Tischler, Emily Morey-Holton

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Studies in space on various physiological systems have and will continue to provide valuable information on how they adapt to reduced gravitational conditions, and how living in a one G (gravity) environment has guided their development. Muscle and bone are the most notable tissues which respond to unweighting caused by lack of gravity. The function of specific muscles and bones relates directly to mechanical loading, so that removal of “normal forces” in space, or bedridden patients, causes dramatic loss of tissue mass. The cardiovascular system is also markedly affected by reduced gravity. Adaptation includes decreased blood flow to the lower extremities thus decreasing the heart output requirement. Hence return to one G is associated with a period of reconditioning due to the deconditioning that occurs in space. Changes in the cardiovascular system are also related to responses of the kidney and certain endocrine (hormone-producing) organs. Changes in respiratory function may also occur, suggesting an effect on the lungs though this adaptation is poorly understood. The neurovestibular system, including the brain and organs of the inner car, must adapt to the disorientation caused by lack of gravity. Preliminary findings have been reported for liver. Additionally endocrine organs responsible for release of hormones, such as insulin, growth hormone, glucocorticoids, and thyroid hormone may respond to spaceflight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 1992
EventAIAA Space Programs and Technologies Conference, 1992 - Huntsville, United States
Duration: Mar 24 1992Mar 27 1992


OtherAIAA Space Programs and Technologies Conference, 1992
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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