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The Effect of Spaceflight on Pituitary Oxytocin and Vasopressin Content of Rats (COS 1887-36)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Rattus norvegicus Species: Rat Strain: Wistar


Disturbances in fluid and electrolyte balance have been noted in humans exposed to space flight. Similar postflight fluid-electrolyte and hormone responses have been observed in rats that were exposed to microgravity. Microscopic examination of the hypothalamus and posterior pituitary gland of flight rats exposed to space flight shows changes indicative of increased activity (e.g. increased hormone synthesis and secretion). The purpose of this investigation was to measure levels of pituitary oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (AVP) as possible indicators of changes in fluid-electrolyte balance during space flight.

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Keil, L.C. et al.: The Effect of Spaceflight on Pituitary Oxytocin and Vasopressin Content of Rats. 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. 387-392.

Fluid shifts
Motion sickness
Pituitary gland
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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, Oxytocin, pituitary, rat, Radioimmunoassay
Content, Pituitary hormone per mg protein, rat, Calculation
Content, Protein, pituitary, rat, Assay versus BSA
Content, Vasopressin, pituitary, rat, Radioimmunoassay

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: Sylvain Costes
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Alternate Experiment Name
Protocol / Approach
Hardware Items