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Immune System in Space: General Introduction and Observations on Stress-Sensitive Regulations

Abstract

Numerous studies have indicated that spaceflight results in dysregulation of the human immune system. This phenomenon has been well documented following flight, where landing and readaptation are significant stressors. More recent data, particularly studies onboard ISS, indicate that this phenomenon persists for the duration of a 6-month orbital spaceflight. Persistent decrements in the function of specific innate or adaptive immune cells, or alterations in cytokine production profiles, could result in clinical risk to crewmembers participating in exploration-class space missions. Such missions are planned to begin in the next decade, first with a small station in cis-lunar orbit, to be followed by a lunar surface operations and Mars missions (flyby, orbital, or surface) along the scopes of the international space exploration roadmap. This chapter will introduce the immune system and innate versus adaptive immunity. How stress and spaceflight affects the immune system will be discussed, including alterations in the peripheral blood levels of specific immune cells during spaceflight. Subsequent chapters will explore the concepts of spaceflight, immunity, stress, and latent herpes virus reactivation in more detail.

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Acknowledgments

We are thankful to R. Stowe and O. Ullrich as well as to J.-P. Frippiat, M. Feuerecker, M. Rykova, and C. Sams for their support and for kindly providing selective information to this chapter. We extend our thanks to Sandra Matzel for the support in the preparation of the figures.

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Correspondence to Brian Crucian .

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Crucian, B., Choukér, A. (2020). Immune System in Space: General Introduction and Observations on Stress-Sensitive Regulations. In: Choukèr, A. (eds) Stress Challenges and Immunity in Space. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-16996-1_11

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-16996-1_11

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