Microgravity exposure causes several physiological and psychosocial alterations that challenge astronauts’ health during space flight. Notably, many of these changes are mostly related to physical inactivity influencing different functional systems and organ biology, in particular the musculoskeletal system, dramatically resulting in aging-like phenotypes, such as those occurring in older persons on Earth. In this sense, sarcopenia, a syndrome characterized by the loss in muscle mass and strength due to skeletal muscle unloading, is undoubtedly one of the most critical aging-like adverse effects of microgravity and a prevalent problem in the geriatric population, still awaiting effective countermeasures. Therefore, there is an urgent demand to identify clinically relevant biological markers and to underline molecular mechanisms behind these effects that are still poorly understood. From this perspective, a lesson from Geroscience may help tailor interventions to counteract the adverse effects of microgravity. For instance, decades of studies in the field have demonstrated that in the older people, the clinical picture of sarcopenia remarkably overlaps (from a clinical and biological point of view) with that of frailty, primarily when referred to the physical function domain. Based on this premise, here we provide a deeper understanding of the biological mechanisms of sarcopenia and frailty, which in aging are often considered together, and how these converge with those observed in astronauts after space flight.

Are Skeletal Muscle Changes during Prolonged Space Flights Similar to Those Experienced by Frail and Sarcopenic Older Adults?

Alessandro Cannavo;Graziamaria Corbi;
2022

Abstract

Microgravity exposure causes several physiological and psychosocial alterations that challenge astronauts’ health during space flight. Notably, many of these changes are mostly related to physical inactivity influencing different functional systems and organ biology, in particular the musculoskeletal system, dramatically resulting in aging-like phenotypes, such as those occurring in older persons on Earth. In this sense, sarcopenia, a syndrome characterized by the loss in muscle mass and strength due to skeletal muscle unloading, is undoubtedly one of the most critical aging-like adverse effects of microgravity and a prevalent problem in the geriatric population, still awaiting effective countermeasures. Therefore, there is an urgent demand to identify clinically relevant biological markers and to underline molecular mechanisms behind these effects that are still poorly understood. From this perspective, a lesson from Geroscience may help tailor interventions to counteract the adverse effects of microgravity. For instance, decades of studies in the field have demonstrated that in the older people, the clinical picture of sarcopenia remarkably overlaps (from a clinical and biological point of view) with that of frailty, primarily when referred to the physical function domain. Based on this premise, here we provide a deeper understanding of the biological mechanisms of sarcopenia and frailty, which in aging are often considered together, and how these converge with those observed in astronauts after space flight.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/904201
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact