Effect of Simulated Microgravity and Lunar Gravity on Human Inspiratory Muscle Function: ‘Selena-T’ 2015 Study

  • M. O. SegizbaevaEmail author
  • N. P. Aleksandrova
  • Z. A. Donina
  • E. V. Baranova
  • V. P. Katuntsev
  • G. G. Tarasenkov
  • V. M. Baranov
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 934)


As a part of the multi-disciplinary “SELENA-T”-2015 Bed Rest Study, we investigated the pattern of inspiratory muscles fatigue in 22 healthy male subjects during incremental exercise test to exhaustion before and after 21 days of hypokinesia evoked by bed rest. Hypokinesia consisted of head-down bed rest (HDBR) at a minus 6° angle, simulating microgravity present on orbiting spacecraft, in 10 subjects. The remaining 12 subjects spent the first 5 days of hypokinesia in HDBR position and the subsequent 16 days in head-up bed rest (HUBR) at a plus 9.6° angle, as a presumed analog of lunar gravity that is six times less than Earth’s gravity. Maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP) and electromyograms (EMG) of the diaphragm (D), parasternal (PS), sternocleidomastoid (SCM), and scalene (S) muscles served as indices of inspiratory muscle function. Before both HDBR and HUBR, exercise decreased MIP and centroid frequency (fc) of EMG (D, PS, SCM, and S) power spectrum (p < 0.05). After 3 weeks of HDBR, but not HUBR, inspiratory muscles fatigue was more expressed compared with control (p < 0.05). We conclude that HDBR lowers inspiratory muscles resistance to fatigue during high-intensity exercise while HUBR has no such effect. These changes may limit maximal ventilation and may contribute to exercise intolerance observed after prolonged simulated microgravity. The physiological mechanisms of respiratory muscle dysfunction after HDBR consist primarily of postural effects, and are not due only to hypokinesia.


Diaphragm Exercise Fatigue Head-down bed rest Head-up bed rest Hypokinesia Parasternal Scalene Sternocleidomastoid 



We thank the subjects for participating in «SELENA-T» Bed Rest Study and the nursing staff of the Federal Research and Clinical Center as well as the study team of Research Institute for Space Medicine for supervising the protocol of this investigation. The study was funded by the Federal Biomedical Agency of Russia.

Conflicts of Interest

No conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise, are declared by the authors.


  1. Akima H, Ushiyama J, Kubo J, Fukuoka H, Kanehisa H, Fukunaga T (2007) Effect of unloading on muscle volume with and without resistance training. Acta Astronaut 60:728–736CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aldrich TK, Adams JM, Arora NS, Rochester DF (1983) Power spectral analysis of the diaphragm electromyogram. J Appl Physiol 54:1579–1584CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. ATS/ERS (2002) American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society statement on respiratory muscle testing. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 166:518–624CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baranov MV, Shpakov AV, Kuzovlev OP, Katuntsev VP, Baranov VM (2014) A method of modeling the physiological effects of staying on the surface of the planet with hypogravity. Patent Russian Federation №2529813, G09B23/28, B64G7/00. 27 Sept 2014Google Scholar
  5. Baranov MV, Katuntsev VP, Shpakov AV, Baranov VM (2015) The method for modeling the physiological effects of hypogravity on human body. Bull Exp Biol Med 160:392–396 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  6. Belavý DL, Miokovic T, Armbrecht G, Richardson CA, Rittweger J, Felsenberg D (2009) Differential atrophy of the lower-limb musculature during prolonged bed rest. Eur J Med Res 107:489–499Google Scholar
  7. Bettinelli D, Kays C, Bailliart J, Capderou A, Techoueyres P, Lachaud JL, Vaïda P, Miserocchi G (2002) Effect of gravity and posture on lung mechanics. J Appl Physiol 93:2044–2052CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Crucian BE, Stowe RP, Mehta SK, Yetman DL, Leal MJ, Quiriarte HD, Pierson DL, Sams CF (2009) Immune status, latent viral reactivation, and stress during long-duration head-down bed rest. Aviat Space Environ Med 80:A37–A44CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Estenne M, Gorini M, Van Muylem A, Ninane V, Paiva M (1992) Rib cage shape and motion in microgravity. J Appl Physiol 73:946–954PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Gazenko OG, Grigoriev AI (1980) Modeling of the physiological effect of weightlessness: Soviet-American experiment. Vestnik of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR 2:71–75 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  11. Genin AM, Ilyin EA, Kaplansky AS, Kasatkina TB, Kuznetsova KA, Pestov ID, Smirnova TA (2001) Bioethic rules of research with humans and animals in aviation, space and marine medicine. Aviakosm Ekolog Med 35:14–20 (in Russian)PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Gross D, Grassino A, Ross WR, Macklem PT (1979) Electromyogram pattern of diaphragmatic fatigue. J Appl Physiol 46:1–7PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Hary D, Belman MJ, Propst J, Lewis S (1982) A statistical analysis of the spectral moments used in EMG tests of endurance. J Appl Physiol 53:779–783PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Janssens L, Brumagne S, McConnell AK, Raymaekers J, Goossens N, Gayan-Ramirez G, Hermans G, Troosters T (2013) The assessment of inspiratory muscle fatigue in healthy individuals: a systematic review. Respir Med 107:331–346CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Morukov BV, Vasilyeva GY (2013) Study the physiological effects of weightlessness on the human body under the antiorthostatic hypokinesia. In: Grigorev AI, Ushakov IB (eds) Space medicine and biology. Nauchnaya kniga, Voronezh, pp 536–543 (in Russian). ISBN 978-5-4446-0276-8Google Scholar
  16. Powers SK, Wiggs MP, Duarte JA, Zergeroglu AM, Demirel HA (2012) Mitochondrial signaling contributes to disuse muscle atrophy. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 303:E31–E39CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  17. Prisk GK, Fine JM, Elliott AR, West JB (2002) Effect of 6 degrees head-down tilt on cardiopulmonary function: comparison with microgravity. Aviat Space Environ Med 73:8–16PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Segizbaeva MO, Aleksandrova NP (2014) Inspiratory muscle resistance to fatigue during exercise and simulated airway obstruction. Fiziol Cheloveka 40:114–122PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Segizbaeva MO, Donina ZA, Timofeev NN, Korolyov YN, Golubev VN, Aleksandrova NP (2013) EMG-analyses of human inspiratory muscle resistance to fatigue during exercise. Adv Exp Med Biol 788:197–205CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Segizbaeva MO, Donina ZA, Aleksandrov VG, Aleksandrova NP (2015) The mechanisms of compensatory responses of the respiratory system to simulated central hypervolemia in normal subjects. Adv Exp Med Biol 858:9–17CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Shenkman BS, Kozlovskaya IB (1997) Book 1, Part 2, Chapter 10: Muscles. Structure and histophysiology. In: Leach Huntoon C, Antipov VV, Grigoriev AI (eds) Man in space flight, vol III. Nauka, Moscow, pp 401–421 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  22. Solnushkin SD, Chikhman VN, Segizbaeva MO, Pogodin MA, Aleksandrov VG (2014) Hardware and software for EMG recording and analysis of respiratory muscles of human. Fiziol Cheloveka 40:119–122PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Traon PL, Heer M, Narici MV, Rittweger J, Vernikos J (2007) From space to Earth: advances in human physiology from 20 years of bed rest studies (1986–2006). Eur J Med Res 101:143–194Google Scholar
  24. Troosters T, Gosselink R, Decramer M (2005) Respiratory muscle assessment. In: Gosselink R, Stam H (eds) Lung function testing, European respiratory monograph 31. European Respiratory Society Journals Ltd, Wakefield/Sheffield, pp 57–71Google Scholar
  25. Verin E, Straus C, Demoule A, Mialon P, Derenne JP, Similowski T (2002) Validation of improved recording site to measure phrenic conduction from surface electrodes in humans. J Appl Physiol 92:967–974CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. O. Segizbaeva
    • 1
    Email author
  • N. P. Aleksandrova
    • 1
  • Z. A. Donina
    • 1
  • E. V. Baranova
    • 1
  • V. P. Katuntsev
    • 2
  • G. G. Tarasenkov
    • 2
  • V. M. Baranov
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Respiration PhysiologyI. P. Pavlov Institute of PhysiologySt. PetersburgRussia
  2. 2.Research Institute for Space Medicine of Federal Research Clinical Center of Specialized Types of Medical Care and Medical Technologies of Federal Biomedical Agency of RussiaMoscowRussia

Personalised recommendations