Bone Marrow Macrophage Growth is Enhanced During Space Flight

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Bone Marrow Macrophage Growth is Enhanced During Space Flight: We asked the question, does space flight affect the way bone marrow cells proliferate as they are differentiating into macrophages? For this experiment, we collected fresh bone marrow cells and grew them in special "space test-tubes" that allowed us to grow the cells in the space shuttle. The bone marrow cells were obtained from the marrow of mouse bones and the cells were grown in the presence of a growth factor, macrophage colony stimulating factor, which induced the bone marrow cells to turn into macrophages. We measured how many cells could be recovered from cultures grown on the space shuttle and compared them to cultures grown on Earth. The cells were fixed with formaldehyde before shuttle reentry so that the return to Earth would not impact the cells. This is just one of several experiments we did on different shuttle flights to show that bone marrow cells grew faster than cells grown on Earth.

Conclusion: Space flight affects the growth of bone marrow cells as they are differentiating into macrophages.