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Pineal Physiology in Microgravity, Relation to Gonadal Function (COS 2044-20)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Rattus norvegicus Species: Rat Strain: Wistar


Since the pineal is an important link to the environment, it is conceivable that exposure to space flight might alter the function of this gland and, in turn, affect various physiological functions including the circadian timing system and reproduction. Given the link between microgravity exposure and perturbation of calcium metabolism, and that the pineal is apparently one of the only "soft tissues" to calcify, this study examined pineal calcium content, along with serotonin metabolism.

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Holley, D. et al.: Pineal Physiology in Microgravity, Relation to Gonadal Function. 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. 85-99.

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
Hydroxindoleacetic acid (HIAA)
Pineal body
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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, 5-hydroxindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), pineal gland, Rat, high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC)
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)
Content, Testosterone, plasma, rat, immuno-assay
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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