Skip to page content Mission Information


Effects of Microgravity in the Adductor Longus Muscle and Receptors in the Forebrain of Rats (COS 2044-10)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Muscle physiology
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Rattus norvegicus Species: Rat Strain: Wistar


Although the effects of microgravity upon muscle tissue are far from being understood, previous studies have shown that "slow" muscle, mostly composed of type I fibers (e.g. soleus, adductor longus), carry the burden of the changes. This study places emphasis on some particular responses to weightlessness observed in the adductor longus muscle of rats, namely: 1) muscle fiber injury; 2) regenerative phenomena and 3) alterations of the neuromuscular junctions.

Quantitative autoradiographic analysis of receptors for GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) and acetylcholine in the forebrain of space-flown rats was undertaken as part of a joint U.S./U.S.S.R. study to determine the effects of microgravity on the central nervous system, and in particular on the sensory and motor portions of the forebrain. Changes in the binding of these receptors in tissue would provide evidence for possible changes in neural processing as a result of microgravity exposure.

++ -- View more

D'Amelio, F. and N.G. Daunton: Effects of Spaceflight in the Adductor Longus Muscle of Rats Flown in the Soviet Biosatellite Cosmos 2044: A Study Employing Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule (N-CAM) Immunocytochemistry and Conventional Morphology Techniques. Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology, vol. 51, no. 4, 1992, pp. 415-431.

D'Amelio, F. et al.: Effects of Spaceflight in the Muscle Adductor Longus of Rats Flown in the Soviet Biosatellite Cosmos 2044: I. A Study Employing Neural Cell Adhesion Molecules (N-CAM) Immunocytochemistry and Conventional Morphological Techniques. (Light and Electron Microscopy). Final Reports of the U.S. Experiments Flown on the Soviet Biosatellite Cosmos 2044. Vol. 2. J.P. Connolly, R.E. Grindeland, and R.W. Ballard, eds., NASA TM-108802, 1994, pp. 35-71.

D'Amelio, Fernando, Robert A. Fox, L.C. Wu, Nancy G. Daunton, and Meryl L. Corcoran. “Effects of Microgravity on Muscle and Cerebral Cortex: A Suggested Interaction.” Advances in Space Research 22.2 (1998): 235-244. ScienceDirect. Web. 18 Oct. 2013. [DOI]

Cell adhesion molecules, neuronal
Muscle fibers
++ -- View more

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.

Activity, enzymic, Acetylcholinesterase (ACE), forebrain, brain, rat, Assay
Activity, enzymic, Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), forebrain, brain, rat, Assay
Content, Neural cell adhesion molecules (N-CAM), in adductor longus, muscle, rat, Immunocytochemistry
Content, Neurotransmitter (GABA), in forebrain, rat, Immunocytochemistry, microscopy
Count, Acetylcholine receptors, in forebrain, rat, Autoradiography
++ -- View more

Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Cosmos 2044 09/15/1989 09/29/1989 14 days

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