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Changes in stress hormones and metabolism during a 105-day simulated Mars mission.

Aviation, space, and environmental medicine (2014-09-10)
Felice Strollo, Galina Vassilieva, Massimiliano Ruscica, Mariangela Masini, Daniela Santucci, Luisa Borgia, Paolo Magni, Fabio Celotti, Igor Nikiporuc
ABSTRACT

The Mars-105 project was aimed at simulating crew's activities, workload, and communication during a mission to Mars, evaluating the homeostatic adaptations to prolonged confinement and cohabitation. Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and insulin, C-peptide, leptin, cortisol, and NGF and BDNF plasma levels were monitored in six healthy nonsmoking male subjects taking part in a 105-d Mars mission simulation. Samples were collected from each subject before (0 wk), during (2.5 wk; 5 wk; 10 wk; 15 wk), and after confinement (+1 wk). Confinement resulted in impaired glucometabolic parameters, since FPG increased during the first 5 wk (baseline: 85.2 ± 10.8 mg · dl⁻¹; 2.5 wk: 98.4 ± 4.7 mg · dl⁻¹; 5 wk: 92.5 ± 6.0 mg · dl⁻¹) and insulin dropped at 2.5 wk (baseline: 14.4 ± 4.8 mU · L⁻¹; 2.5 wk: 7.7 ± 2.1 mU · L⁻¹), subsequently returning to baseline values. HOMA-IR paralleled plasma insulin, dropping to 1.8 ± 0.5 at 2.5 wk (baseline: 3.0 ± 1.2). At all time-points tested, plasma leptin levels were decreased (baseline: 4.4 ± 3.3 ng · dl⁻¹; 2.5 wk: 1.6 ± 1.2 ng · dl⁻¹; 5 wk: 1.3 ± 0.8 ng · dl⁻¹; 10 wk: 1.5 ± 1.1 ng · dl⁻¹; 15 wk:1.7 ± 0.8 ng · dl⁻¹), whereas cortisol levels were increased (baseline: 10.8 ± 4.9 ng · dl⁻¹; 2.5 wk: 16.8 ± 3.5 ng · dl⁻¹; 5 wk: 18.1 ± 7.6 ng · dl⁻¹; 10 wk: 18.1 ± 8.3 ng · dl⁻¹; 15 wk:14.2 ± 4.4 ng · dl⁻¹), resulting in a negative correlation between these hormones. BDNF levels increased only at 5 and 10 wk (baseline: 67.1 ± 36.0 pg · ml⁻¹; 5 wk: 164 ± 54 pg · ml⁻¹; and 10 wk: 110.2 ± 28.9 pg · ml⁻¹). The data obtained with the Mars-105 experiment suggest that environmental stress has a strong impact upon metabolic and stress response, indicating the need for further studies and the implementation of specific countermeasures.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

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