One rodent model to study the effects of spaceflight on biological systems is the Hindlimb Unloading model (HLU). It mimics the redistribution of fluids in the body, similar to what occurs in microgravity. This model is of great value to spaceflight research, since it allows to perform invasive measurements and investigate changes at the cellular and molecular level in response to simulated spaceflight. In a pilot study, we acquired brain MRI scans in mice before, during, immediately after, and 6 days after a 14-day period of HLU intervention. This enables us to investigate the changes to the whole brain in response to the redistribution of body fluids, which is similar to our goal of the BRAIN-DTI project. In addition, we can perform histological assessment as a complementary way to better understand the changes that occur in the brain after HLU. This pilot study served as a proof-of-concept study as a starting point in advancing our knowledge on the consequences of headward fluid shift on the brain.
2018 - 2019