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Plastic Alteration of Vestibulo-Cardiovascular Reflex and its Countermeasure (VC_REFLEX)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Cardiovascular physiology
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

The vestibular system is known to have an important role in controlling arterial pressure (AP) upon posture transition. However, this system is known to be highly plastic, i.e., if subjects are exposed to different gravitational environments, the sensitivity of the system is altered. Thus, it is possible that the sensitivity of the vestibulo-cardiovascular reflex is diminished after space flight, and then orthostatic hypotension is induced after space flight. To test this hypothesis, the role of the vestibulo-cardiovascular reflex in maintaining AP upon head-up tilt (HUT) is examined before and after space flight.

The objectives of the research are to test the hypothesis that microgravity induces plastic alteration of the vestibulo-cardiovascular reflex, and if vestibular-mediated pressor response is impaired after space flight, then orthostatic hypotension occurs. To examine this, contribution of the vestibulo-cardiovascular reflex in controlling AP upon HUT is examined before and after space flight.

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Arterial pressure
Vestibular function tests

Data Information
Data Availability
Archiving in progress. Data is not yet available for this experiment.

Arterial pressure
Arterial pressure
Calf circumference
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Expedition 32 07/01/2012 09/16/2012 78 days
Expedition 34 11/18/2012 03/15/2013 117 days
Expedition 35 03/15/2013 05/13/2013 58 days
Expedition 37 09/10/2013 11/10/2013 61 days
Expedition 38 11/10/2013 03/10/2014 120 days
Expedition 40 05/13/2014 09/10/2014 133 days
Expedition 41 09/10/2014 11/09/2014 29 days
Expedition 42 11/10/2014 03/11/2015 121 days
Expedition 44 06/10/2015 09/11/2015 93 days
Expedition 45 09/11/2015 12/11/2015 91 days

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Jessica Keune
Institutional Support
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)