Bailey DM, Lanéelle D, Trihan JE, Marchi N, Stacey BS, Tamiya K, Washio T, Tuaillon E, Hirtz C, Lehmann S, Ogoh S and Normand H.
Neuroscience. 2020 Jun 2;S0306-4522(20)30350-X.
The present study examined if repeated bouts of micro- and hypergravity during parabolic flight (PF) alter structural integrity of the neurovascular unit (NVU) subsequent to free radical-mediated changes in regional cerebral perfusion. Six participants (5♂, 1♀) aged 29 ± 11 years were examined before, during and after a 3 h PF and compared to six sex and age-matched (27 ± 6 years) normogravity controls. Blood flow was measured in the anterior (middle cerebral artery, MCA; internal carotid artery, ICA) and posterior (vertebral artery, VA) circulation (duplex ultrasound) in-flight over the course of 15 parabolas. Venous blood was assayed for free radicals (electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy), nitric oxide (NO, ozone-based chemiluminescence) and NVU integrity (chemiluminescence/ELISA) in normogravity before and after exposure to 31 parabolas. While MCA velocity did not change (P > 0.05), a selective increase in VA flow was observed during the most marked gravitational transition from micro- to hypergravity (P < 0.05). Increased oxidative-nitrosative stress defined by a free radical-mediated reduction in NO and elevations in glio-vascular GFAP and S100ß were observed after PF (P < 0.05), the latter proportional to the increase in VA flow (r = 0.908, P < 0.05). In contrast, biomarkers of neuronal-axonal damage (neuron-specific enolase, neurofilament light-chain, ubiquitin carboxy-terminal hydrolase L1 and tau) did not change (P > 0.05). Collectively, these findings suggest that the cumulative effects of repeated gravitational transitions may promote minor blood–brain barrier disruption, potentially related to the combined effects of haemodynamic (posterior cerebral hyperperfusion) and molecular (systemic oxidative-nitrosative) stress.