npj Microgravity (Feb 2024)

How are cell and tissue structure and function influenced by gravity and what are the gravity perception mechanisms?

  • Trent Davis,
  • Kevin Tabury,
  • Shouan Zhu,
  • Debora Angeloni,
  • Sarah Baatout,
  • Alexandra Benchoua,
  • Juergen Bereiter-Hahn,
  • Daniele Bottai,
  • Judith-Irina Buchheim,
  • Marco Calvaruso,
  • Eugénie Carnero-Diaz,
  • Sara Castiglioni,
  • Duccio Cavalieri,
  • Gabriele Ceccarelli,
  • Alexander Choukér,
  • Francesca Cialdai,
  • Gianni Ciofani,
  • Giuseppe Coppola,
  • Gabriella Cusella,
  • Andrea Degl’Innocenti,
  • Jean-Francois Desaphy,
  • Jean-Pol Frippiat,
  • Michael Gelinsky,
  • Giada Genchi,
  • Maria Grano,
  • Daniela Grimm,
  • Alain Guignandon,
  • Christiane Hahn,
  • Jason Hatton,
  • Raúl Herranz,
  • Christine E. Hellweg,
  • Carlo Saverio Iorio,
  • Thodoris Karapantsios,
  • Jack J.W.A. van Loon,
  • Matteo Lulli,
  • Jeanette Maier,
  • Jos Malda,
  • Emina Mamaca,
  • Lucia Morbidelli,
  • Angelique van Ombergen,
  • Andreas Osterman,
  • Aleksandr Ovsianikov,
  • Francesco Pampaloni,
  • Elizabeth Pavezlorie,
  • Veronica Pereda-Campos,
  • Cyrille Przybyla,
  • Christopher Puhl,
  • Petra Rettberg,
  • Angela Maria Rizzo,
  • Kate Robson-Brown,
  • Leonardo Rossi,
  • Giorgio Russo,
  • Alessandra Salvetti,
  • Daniela Santucci,
  • Matthias Sperl,
  • Sara Tavella,
  • Christiane Thielemann,
  • Ronnie Willaert,
  • Nathaniel Szewczyk,
  • Monica Monici

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 10, no. 1
pp. 1 – 7


Read online

Abstract Progress in mechanobiology allowed us to better understand the important role of mechanical forces in the regulation of biological processes. Space research in the field of life sciences clearly showed that gravity plays a crucial role in biological processes. The space environment offers the unique opportunity to carry out experiments without gravity, helping us not only to understand the effects of gravitational alterations on biological systems but also the mechanisms underlying mechanoperception and cell/tissue response to mechanical and gravitational stresses. Despite the progress made so far, for future space exploration programs it is necessary to increase our knowledge on the mechanotransduction processes as well as on the molecular mechanisms underlying microgravity-induced cell and tissue alterations. This white paper reports the suggestions and recommendations of the SciSpacE Science Community for the elaboration of the section of the European Space Agency roadmap “Biology in Space and Analogue Environments” focusing on “How are cells and tissues influenced by gravity and what are the gravity perception mechanisms?” The knowledge gaps that prevent the Science Community from fully answering this question and the activities proposed to fill them are discussed.