Morphological changes in myelinated fibers of the spinal cord and the sciatic nerve in mice after modeling of the hypogravity and the approach of their correction by preventive gene therapy

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Earlier, in mice after a 30-day space flight on the Bion-M1 biosatellite, we found signs of a negative effect of weightlessness on the structure of myelinated fibers of the spinal cord tracts; these findings indicate their involvement in the pathogenesis of hypogravitational motor syndrome (HMS). In the present study, under conditions of hypogravity modeling by the hindlimb unloading, we obtained data on destructive changes in the myelinated fibers of the motor posterior corticospinal tract (tractus corticospinalis posterior), sensitive anterior spinocerebellar tract (tractus spino-cerebellaris anterior), and the gracile fascicle (fasciculus gracilis), as well as in the tibial fascicle (fasciculus tibialis) of the sciatic nerve of mice 30 days after unloading. The obtained data confirm our hypothesis on the role of disturbance in the processes of myelination of nerve fibers during the development of HMS, both during space flight and under conditions of simulating hypogravity on Earth. Morphometric analysis after a 7-day period of readaptation did not reveal signs of restoration of pathological changes in myelinated fibers that arose after 30 days of hanging. However, preventive gene therapy (administration of a gene construct providing the synthesis of recombinant vascular endothelial growth factor, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor, and neural cell adhesion molecule, prior to hindlimb unloading) has been shown to be effective in the preservation of myelinated fibers in projection anterior spininocerebellar tract, compared with control animals that did not receive gene therapy. The research carried out at this stage gives ground to make a preliminary conclusion about the advisability of developing methods of preventive gene therapy to prevent the development of GDS during long-term space flights.

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About the authors

A. N Lisyukov

Kazan State Medical University


M. S Kuznetsov

Kazan State Medical University

V. R Saitov

Kazan (Volga Region] Federal University; Federal State Budgetary Scientific Institution Federal Center for toxicological, radiation, and biological safety

M. M Salnikova

Kazan (Volga Region] Federal University

I. A Bikmullina

Kazan State Medical University

E. S Koshpaeva

Kazan State Medical University

O. V Tyapkina

Kazan State Medical University; Kazan (Volga Region] Federal University

V. V Valiullin

Kazan State Medical University

R. R Islamov

Kazan State Medical University


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