Skip to page content Mission Information


Microgravity Changes in Heart Structure and Cyclic-AMP Metabolism (SL3 BSP2)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Cardiovascular physiology
Pulmonary physiology
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Rattus norvegicus Species: Rat Strain: Sprague-Dawley


Physiological changes which are the consequence of altered gravity conditions were studied in order to evaluate their effect on manned travel in space. Cardiac deconditioning has been found in astronauts, in humans after prolonged bed rest, in monkeys exposed to hypokinesia, and rodents exposed to increased gravity or weightlessness. Altered gravity has been shown to induce morphologically observable changes associated with myocardial degeneration (accumulation of lipid droplets, increased glycogen storage, alterations in microtubule distribution). In this experiment, cardiac ultrastructure and cyclic AMP metabolism were studied in tissues of space-flown rats.

++ -- View more

Mednieks, M.I. et al.: Cardiac Muscle Ultrastructure and Cyclic AMP Reactions to Altered Gravity Conditions. American Journal of Physiology, vol. 252, 1987, pp.R227-R232.

Philpott DE, et al. Microgravity Changes in Heart Structure and cyclic-AMP metabolism. Abstract S-209; Proceedings of the Seventh Annual Meeting on the IUPS Commission on Gravitational Physiology,1985 October 13-18; Niagara Falls (NY).

Philpott DE, Fine A, Kato K, Egnor R, Cheng L, Mednieks M. Microgravity Changes in Heart Structure and Cyclic-AMP metabolism. Physiologist 1985; 28(6 Suppl): S209-10.

Philpott DE, Fine A, Mednieks M, Kato K. Microgravity Changes in Heart Structure and c-AMP metabolism. Abstract 83.15; 36th Annual Fall Meeting of the American Physiological Society; 1985 Oct 13-18; Buffalo (NY) Physiologist 1985; 28(4):378.

Cardiovascular deconditioning
Cyclic AMP (cAMP)

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, cAMP-dependent protein kinase, heart, rat, Incorporation of P-ATP into protein
Activity, Cyclases, Heart, Rat, Conversion of 3H-ATP to 3H-cAMP, Chromatography of cAMP,
Activity, Phosphatases, heart, rat, cAMP phosphodiesterase (low & high Km), (3H-5 AMP elutriated from polyacrylamide boronate affinity gel chromatographic column),
Morphology, ultrastructure, Heart (Cardiac), Rat, Electron Microscopy (descriptive)

Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
STS-51B 04/29/1985 05/06/1985 7 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)
Protocol / Approach
Simulated flight control
Similar Experiments or Analyses