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Abstract: FR-OR41

The Impact of Microgravity on Kidney Function During Spaceflight

Session Information

Category: Fluid‚ Electrolyte‚ and Acid-Base Disorders

  • 1001 Fluid‚ Electrolyte‚ and Acid-Base Disorders: Basic


  • Siew, Keith, University College London, London, London, United Kingdom
  • Walsh, Stephen B., University College London, London, London, United Kingdom

The impact of microgravity (MG) on deep space travellers has mainly focused on cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, neurological and occular health. However, MG exposed astronauts have an unusually high rate of kidney stone formation which poses a mission critical risk. In fact, over 30 incidents have been reported and previous missions have almost been aborted due renal stone formation


To investigate this, we studied kidneys and biofluids from mice aboard the Rodent Research-10 (RR-10) Mission that launched with SpaceX-21 to the International Space Station and spent ~30 days in MG. These were compared to ground controls (n=10 per all groups) and underwent spatial transcriptomics and miRNA analysis, quantitative proteomics/phosphoproteomics, urine/plasma electrolyte analysis and 3D imaging of immunostained optically cleared tissues for histomorphometry.


Thus far, our network analysis of the data supports evidence of mitochondrial damage, extracellular matrix dysfunction and decreased lomerular filtration rate. Interestly, there are also marked dysregulation in gene products relating to lipid metabolism, SLC membrane transporter superfamily and phosphorylation status.


Our data suggest that there are detrimental changes in the abundance and activity of key transporters/channels that either directly or indirectly regulate calcium homeostasis, and that these may be primary changes in the kidney that drive renal stone formation on the backdrop of milleu of increased renal stone risk factors (e.g. bone resorption, dehydration, enhance crystal formation in MG).