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Pineal Physiology in Microgravity: Relation to Rat Gonadal Function (COS 1887-22)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Rattus norvegicus Species: Rat Strain: Wistar


It is now known that the pineal organ can interact with many endocrine and nonendocrine tissues in a regulatory fashion. In view of the fact that the pineal is an important link to the environment, it is conceivable that exposure to microgravity and space flight might alter the function of this gland and, in turn, affect the various physiological functions including the circadian timing system. Given the link between exposure to microgravity and perturbation of calcium metabolism, and the fact that the pineal is apparently one of the only "soft tissues" to calcify, this study examined pineal calcium content following space flight.

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Holley, D. et al.: Pineal Physiology in Microgravity: Relation to Rat Gonadal Function. Final Reports of the U.S. Experiments Flown on the Soviet Biosatellite Cosmos 1887. J.P. Connolly, R.E. Grindeland, and R.W. Ballard, eds., NASA TM-102254, 1990, pp. 371-385.

Holley, D.C. et al. (2003). "Chronic centrifugation (hypergravity) disrupts the circadian system of the rat." Journal of Applied Physiology, 95(3): 1266-1278. [DOI]

Adrenal glands

Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. No data sets are available for this experiment. Please Contact LSDA if you know of available data for this investigation.

Content, 5-hydroxindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), pineal gland, Rat, high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC)
Content, Calcium, pineal gland, rat, Atomic absorption spectrophotometry
Content, Melatonin, pineal gland, Rat, Radioimmunoassay
Content, Serotonin, pineal gland, Rat, high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC)
Content, Serotonin, plasma, Rat, high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC)
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Cosmos 1887 09/29/1987 10/11/1987 13 days

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Ames Research Center (ARC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Ames Research Center LSDA Level 3
Project Manager: Helen Stewart
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Alternate Experiment Name
Protocol / Approach
Hardware Items